It's the final Friday of the year, between the Christmas and New Year days off that many of us have as holidays. Since this is often a very quiet workday, I thought it would be a good day for many of us to stop and think about our future plans for next year.
I write often about career topics, encouraging you to improve your skill sets and actively manage your career. I think too many of us have been passive in our careers. We learn what our boss asks us to learn. We change jobs when we need to, often just accepting the first offer we get. We let ourselves be interviewed without interviewing the hiring organization. In most cases, we fall from position to position, which often might not be what we did if we actively managed our career.
I talk about the different things you can do to brand yourself, market yourself, and improve your career in various presentations and writings. However, before you brand yourself, you really need to know what skills and abilities you want to brand. For many of us, this means verifying, practicing, and improving the skills in areas we want to work. To do that, most of us need some sort of plan.
That's what this piece is about. What is your plan for 2019? Are there things you want to learn for fun? For your current position? Maybe to set you up to get a new job in a year or two? Andy Warren has written a bit about this, and I think he has some good ideas. We need a plan that's manageable, but also helps us move forward. We should write this down and have some way of measuring what we want to do with this plan. I'm asking you today to think a bit about what you might want to do and then make some plans.
I've tried a few ideas in the past, with various levels of success, and in 2019 I want to try something else. I like books and learn from them well, so I'm going to take a number of books that I bought from Apress during their $7 sale and start working through them. My goal is to get through a book a month in 2019, adding some skills and practicing some of the techniques to see if I can learn some useful skills in this way.
If you're not busy today, work on a plan. Outline the time, the money, and the way in which you plan to learn in 2019 and write that down. If nothing else, maybe you want to go through one article we publish each week and practice some of those skills. You'd certainly learn quite a bit doing that in 2019.