Q: I often use the start of a new year to organize and identify new focus areas and goals. How can I also use this time to benefit my career?
A: You’re wise to take advantage of such opportunities to further your career. Here are four suggestions for making the most of the start of the new year.
- Reorganize your workspace.Put your workspace in order. Remove everything from your desktop and drawers, toss what you don’t need, give surfaces a good wiping down and then put papers and supplies back where they belong. As for your virtual desktop, update software and file any scattered documents. Clutter is stressful, and organizing your desk is a soothing activity that can also boost your efficiency and productivity.
- Review your career plan.Take some time to look back on your accomplishments from the past year and see whether you’re on a good trajectory. Then write down some professional goals you want to reach in 2019, followed by the steps necessary to get there. Perhaps you need to learn more about your office’s law practice management software before asking for a raise, or pursue a certification or another degree to qualify for a promotion.
- Cultivate your network. Reach out to former coworkers and plan to meet for a coffee. On LinkedIn, click on “My Network” and see who you should add. Congratulate contacts on a recent promotion or new position. Share interesting industry news or a job opening with people who might appreciate it.
- Catch up with coworkers. Look for opportunities to bond with your coworkers. Some ideas: Bring in a sweet treat and invite everyone to enjoy one during a coffee break. Go for a brisk walk with a coworker you’d like to get to know better. Invite colleagues to join you for lunch at a nearby restaurant.
Make the most of the new year to not only prepare a strategic work plan but to identify goals for the next stage of your legal career.