Five Strategies To Find Success In The New Year

I’ve recently received numerous emails about whether or not I make New Year’s resolutions. I don’t. I choose to live my personal intention daily. When I started my career development business two years ago, I established a personal ambition statement that covers what I plan to accomplish in the upcoming three-year period both personally and professionally. I highly encourage you to create and accomplish SMART goals, but want you to make them for the time frame that best suits your life and career.

In America, 2014 will probably be characterized by slow economic growth, mounting public debt, continued high levels of unemployment, increasing in-country inequality, and more crony capitalism. Instead of being part of that downward spiral, why not take meaningful action that will allow you to create an upward spiral and unlock your potential? Here are five strategies that will help you find success in the New Year:

1. Stop Delegating Control of Your Career to Others – You can become psychologically dependant on the organization you work for or your clients, but you will feel empowered by diversifying your income. The current global instability requires you to think bigger picture and longer-term about your skills and how they can generate value for the “common” wealth.

2. Avoid Consumerism – Find a way to save money. What will win you your next job or client isn’t the size of your watch or the brand of your car… it will be your competence and your character. Trust is 21st century currency. Save money, buy local, and invest in yourself.

3. Take a Long-Term Orientation – To make sure that you set a strong foundation for what’s next, reserve a few hours to reflect on 2013. What went well? What could be improved upon? Set goals for 2014 (and beyond) by creating specific targets, but be flexible enough to account for unique opportunities that may catapult you further.

4. Increase Collaboration – As people become more hyper-specialized in their technical skills, you will benefit by partnering with those who are skilled in areas you aren’t. Reach out to your LinkedIn connections and find ways to best leverage each party’s knowledge and network. By forgetting the negative (your weaknesses) and focusing on the positive (your strengths), the collaborative effort will yield greater results faster than if you were to go at it alone.

5. Develop Your Emotional Competence – Recruiters are less and less interested in your technical knowledge, skills, and abilities. They’re important, but they’ll only take you so far. What will get you to the next level in your career are “soft” skills such as influencing without authority, adaptability, or leading through change. To develop this: join a professional association, read books, conduct two informational interviews per month, and/or attend seminars. Whatever you do, take a learning mindset to being better at communicating with others.

Remember, every interaction you have is a chance to exude your personal brand, generate value, and “out-behave” others. Make 2014 the best it can possibly be by taking control of your career, saving money, thinking long-term, partnering more with others, and enhancing your soft skills.

Now go forth and be awesome.


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