- December 21, 2020
- Posted by: Dan Trudeau
- Category: Career Advice
3 Steps to Begin Your 2021 Today
We’re entering the final days of 2020, a year that’s brought frustration to people, especially when it comes to their careers. It can be difficult to move ahead when it feels like the entire world is against you. People have lost their positions, had their plans dashed, or are stressed out, wondering if the ax will drop next on them.
You can make it different for yourself. While everyone else is waiting for 2020 to end, you can begin your 2021 today.
I’m not talking about magically making the calendar change. 2020 is a set year that goes from January 1st to December 31st. I’m talking about moving past your 2020 state of mind. Right now, people are focused on getting by, on surviving, not moving forward. You can decide to move yourself out of this and start the next chapter of your life today. There may be opportunities you’re not seeing because your head is down.
First off, you’re not wrong to feel frustrated, anxious, depressed, etc. Too often, we’re told we shouldn’t feel negative about our situation. It’s understandable if you’re stressed out about your career. The mistake isn’t having these emotions, but getting stuck in them.
1. What have you learned?
Wise people have said failure is the greatest teacher. Failing hurts, and it reveals truths we’re hesitant to face.
Look back at your year and ask:
- Where did I fail?
- Why did I do it?
- What did I learn about myself?
- What does it tell me about my life going forward?
Find someone you trust to discuss it with, for outside perspective. It can be a parent, friend, therapist, spiritual leader, etc. It’s important to chose someone who cares about and will challenge you. We often blind to our own imperfections. A person who cares helps you see them without being vindictive.
You’ll come out of it with a better sense of yourself, and what will make you happy.
2. Make a plan
You’ve figured out what you’ve learned. Now it’s time to make a plan. Doing so revolves around one question:
What can I change?
Global issues are often outside our immediate control. In 2020, this has included:
- The Covid pandemic
- Political turmoil
- Civil unrest
- An economic downturn.
I’m not suggesting you’re powerless to help with these, but that power is limited.
You have a greater ability, though, to create positive changes in your career today, even if it doesn’t seem so. Take the time to identify aspects within your control, and apply what you learned about yourself to make them better. This could include:
- Getting back to work
- Changing to a new job, or even a new field
- Improving your current position
- Focusing on neglected areas of your work
You may be surprised by the opportunities you discover.
3. Take action!
Conventional wisdom may tell you to wait until the New Year for a fresh start, but you won’t change your situation by being conventional. You’re not going to hold out for an artificial date on a calendar, or for the rest of the world to get better. Instead, put your plan into action today.
For example, it’s accepted that hiring slows down once we enter the holiday season, but we’ve had job candidates start new positions in December. They went into January already going strong, because they didn’t make the mistake of waiting.
If you’re looking for a new position, find people who need someone with your abilities today. You’ll never do it if you don’t put yourself out there. There are ways to do this, even in a pandemic.
If you’re looking to improve your current position, discuss what you’ve figured out with management. When you do, talk about how this will help the entire team. Chances are, they’ll be impressed at your initiative.
Whatever you need to do, do it TODAY.
This has been a tough year for a lot of people. Here’s the good news: you’re still here. As long as you’re alive, you have opportunities to make life better. Don’t let pessimists keep you from the career, and life, you deserve. You can move into the future while they mope in the present.
For 30 years, PRA USA has helped thousands of people move forward in their career. This includes our 30-Minute Career Counseling and Recruiting services. Use our experience to get the career you deserve.