It is that time of the year again: the always dreaded and seldom kept New Year’s resolution! People (including myself) often vow to go to the gym, lose weight, spend more time with family and friends.
However, many of us do not take this opportunity to think about our professional selves. As I have explained in many of my previous blogs, career success requires strategy. And what better time of year to start than now?!
Below are three steps to creating attainable professional resolutions to ring in your 2016:
1. Establish goals.
Honestly evaluate yourself in regards to your current situation. Start the process by identifying aspects of your desired future jobs that are important. Ask yourself if you are satisfied with your current position and consider the reasons why or why not. Detail what you need to change so that you can have the career you want. By understanding where you want to be in your career, you can plan and take actionable steps to get there.
2. Expand your skill set and knowledge base.
The most successful people never stop learning. Changing technology alters the skills you need to compete. And without a relevant skill set, you will eventually become obsolete.
So learn as much as possible and stay current with workforce shifts and trends. Doing so will keep you at the top of your game. In-demand positions often require technical skills that rapidly evolve. You can maintain relevant skills through training opportunities and industry associations. Many skills can also be self-taught by consuming industry, technical or profession-specific content. There are useful online courses, called Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). And if reading is not your thing, videos and podcasts are also good development tools.
3. Engage with your network.
An extensive network of connections will open doors and opportunities. Follow the adage, "it's not what you know but whom you know." This mindset is essential in achieving your goals and establishing a successful career.
You can establish a strong network through participation in professional associations or networking events. You can also engage with your professional community by sharing your knowledge and skills with others. Whether you give a webinar, speak at an industry conference or share an article on social media, sharing information presents you as an expert while increasing your visibility.
In the parking industry, you can network using a number of channels including organizations such as the International Parking Institute (IPI), National Parking Association (NPA), Women in Parking (WIP), Young Professionals in Parking (YPIP) and regional groups. You can also contribute and read industry-specific media like Parking Today, parknews.biz, parking-net.com, LinkedIn parking groups, and association sponsored magazines.
Both associations and industry-specific media host events throughout the year that provide opportunities to meet new parking professionals and nurture existing relationships. Networking is the easiest way to access the most committed and best-connected professionals. The key to engagement is consistently participating in your community.
One final thought.
For a successful new year’s resolution, understand it is a long-term and ongoing effort.