The ball will soon be dropping in Times Square. Champagne is chilling, and we’ll be chanting along with the countdown for the New Year . . . 5,4,3,2,1, HAPPY NEW YEAR!! After a quick toast and a New Year’s kiss, someone asks you, “So, any New Year’s Resolutions? Any big changes for you? What are you planning for 2016?”
Hopefully, you’ve asked yourself these same questions before year end festivities. If you want to hit the ground running in 2016, the time to start planning for that is now. One of the best ways to prepare for where you are going is to look back at where you’ve been. Over the next several weeks, successful consultants should be taking a hard look at this past year to assess their goals, setbacks, career milestones, profitability, and overall job satisfaction.
Run through this mental checklist: Was 2015 a success? Did I accomplish my goals? What should I have done differently? How can I build on last year’s performance? What do I want to do in 2016? Where do I want to be this time next year? Now is the perfect time to ask and answer these questions.
Knowing the right questions to ask is the first step; knowing where to find the answers can be trickier. A good first step on this road would be to review and update your resume. You may be surprised by how much you’ve learned since the last time you completed this exercise. By updating your resume, you will be able to convey your recent accomplishments to future prospective clients. Your resume should include the following:
The updates you provide will likely help you determine your goals and objectives for 2016. Now that you know where you’ve been, you can develop a plan for where you’d like to go. Another mental checklist: Do I want to increase my visibility so others can find me, or do I want to be proactive in my search for project opportunities? Either way, a solid next step would be to update your LinkedIn profile.
Build your resume updates into your LinkedIn profile. Ask for recommendations from your recent clients. If you have identified a company or industry you want to work in, start following them or their relevant industry or technology groups. Update your e-portfolio with recent work samples. Refer back routinely to see who has reviewed your profile and follow up with those potential connections. Now that you’ve taken steps to update your resume and LinkedIn profile, why not take the step to update yourself?
For most L&D consultants, being up to date on technology is key to bringing your A-game to the table. Lynda.com is a great resource for consultants to learn new skills and not break the bank while doing it. You can find free trials on both Captivate and Articulate websites allowing you to play around with most recent software versions. There are also many user groups in the L&D community with helpful information on new and cutting edge technology.
So now you’ve updated your resume and LinkedIn profile. You’ve also invested in your most important commodity - yourself. Now when you hear… “5,4,3,2,1, HAPPY NEW YEAR!! So, you have any New Year’s resolutions?”…, you can say with excitement, “Well as a matter of fact, I do. I have big plans for 2016!”