It’s hard to believe another year is almost complete. What have you accomplished this year? What do you have planned for next year? Is your career where you want it to be?
As the days fly by toward a new year, now is the perfect time to start setting your goals for next year. While that sounds good in theory, it can be a bit more challenging in practice when it comes to putting your goals in print. If this is something you struggle with, a strategic career assessment can help.
A strategic career assessment is as simple as doing some good, old-fashioned reflection. Where are you now? Where do you want to be this time next year? What concrete steps do you need to take to get there? The answers to these questions will be your road map for the next year and beyond. You can get started on this process by downloading this free resource: From Reactive to Proactive: Creating Your Strategic Administrative Career Plan.
What are some goals to consider for the upcoming year? These are some of my favorites!
1. Get a certification.
A certification can increase your earning potential by several thousand dollars per year, but the rewards aren’t solely financial. You’ll also prove your dedication to your executive and colleagues, and wind up with a personal sense of pride and accomplishment.
Whether you’re looking to get your Certified Administrative Professional Certification, becoming a Microsoft Office Specialist, or exploring options that aren’t admin-specific, such as travel or event planning, it’s important that you go into the process with your eyes open, and a strategic course of action that will allow you to achieve your goal!
2. Go back to school.
Your admin job keeps you pretty busy. Add in the demands of your personal life, and finding the time (and money) to go back to school can seem nearly impossible. But it’s not as difficult as you think!
Financial assistance, including grants, is readily available for adults looking to further their careers or enter a new trade entirely. Online courses and night school can help you keep your day job while you attend classes. Some employers even offer cash toward continuing education.
If you have lofty career goals, a degree can open doors you never thought possible!
3. Attend a training event or workshop.
If earning a degree isn’t possible, all is not lost! Training events, workshops, and webinars abound! We have a list of more than 60 training sessions on our Training on Demand page, and our AdminPro Training Series offers training, coaching, and mentoring on a different topic each month.
Your network is also a treasure trove of information regarding upcoming conferences, seminars, and events — and you may even get a significant discount just for being a member of a professional association.
Is money an obstacle? Once again, ask your executive or HR department if there’s an option for putting it on the company’s tab! The answer may be no, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
4. Join a professional association.
The benefits of a professional association are truly astounding. I joined my first — Business Professionals of America — when I was still in high school, and more than two decades later, I’m now a proud member of several groups and associations.
Professional associations allow you to network with other members in a way that’s beneficial for your career. You’ll be the first to know about sponsored training opportunities, garner the support of like-minded individuals who are in a prime position to give you advice, and work on your leadership development while you assist in coordinating meetings and events. Plus, professional associations look amazing on your resume!
5. Refresh your administrative brand.
Whether you know it or not, you have an administrative brand. It’s who you are, how you act, the way you present yourself, and the impression — favorable or unfavorable — that you make on others. And now is the perfect time to refresh that brand!
Take another look at your resume. Does it accurately reflect your administrative brand? Does it showcase the real you, and allow you to stand out from the competition? Does it highlight your best qualities? If not, it should!
It’s also a good time to update or develop your professional portfolio, both digitally and in print. Having all your accomplishments and successes at your fingertips allows you to be more proactive, whether you’re searching for a new job, hoping to score a promotion, or just looking to really “wow” your executive at review time.
Finally, update your social media pages to accurately reflect your brand. Consistency is key!
6. Seek out a career coach.
When you need to find the motivation to get in shape, you call a personal trainer. When you’re not quite sure what to do with your career, you call a career coach.
Whether you’re struggling with meeting your goals, or having a difficult time even coming up with them, a session or two with a career coach can help you chart your course to success. Make sure you find one with a proven track record and some references to back them up, and that you know what you’ll get out of the engagement.
7. Read, read, read!
If all else fails, pick up a book! So much has been written on the administrative profession – my personal favorites can be found here. Whether you check them out from the library, purchase them on Amazon, or get together with your co-workers for a book-swap in your office, books are one of the best (and cheapest!) training opportunities available.
Whatever your goals for the new year may be, my team and I wish you the highest level of success. Feel free to share your goals with your fellow admins on our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages, or email us, and let us know your plans for making next year your best year yet!
© 2017 Julie Perrine International, LLC
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Julie Perrine, CAP-OM, is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, providing training, mentoring and resources for administrative professionals worldwide. Julie applies her administrative expertise and passion for lifelong learning to serving as an enthusiastic mentor, speaker and author who educates admins around the world on how to be more effective every day. Learn more about Julie’s books — The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation in Your Administrative Career and The Organized Admin: Leverage Your Unique Organizing Style to Create Systems, Reduce Overwhelm, and Increase Productivity, and Become a Procedures Pro: The Admin’s Guide to Developing Effective Office Systems and Procedures. And request your free copy of our special report “From Reactive to Proactive: Creating Your Strategic Administrative Career Plan” at www.AllThingsAdmin.com.