Do you feel like things are a little out of control at work? Are you just doing what needs to be done so you can get the work day over with? That’s not very fun, is it?
If you’re going to leave your kids every day, set a goal to make it worth your while! Leave them to go work on your passion projects. Does that sound like a great goal?
If this sounds like too much work or if experiencing change isn’t your thing I’ve got your back. To get in control of your career (and even your home life), you need a plan or goals. Here’s how to get control of your career in four easy steps.
Control Starts With You and a Career Journal
You are a busy working mom and can’t remember everything, right? You’re going to need a career journal to keep track of your thoughts. During your lunch break, go pick up a journal that feels good in your hand and looks exciting to write in.
I tell my kids often that you cannot control others, only yourself. At work, you have control over your work area, how you do your job and the amount of effort you put into your work. Is there anything else at work that you have control over?
In your new journal, make a list of the things you can control at work. Include the three things I mentioned and write how you can control them well. For example, you can keep your desk clear of clutter in an organized pretty way that suits your style. If you want to get creative, check out my Pinterest board for desk organization ideas.
Define Your Strengths and Skills That Make You Shine
Now that you have some things under your domain it’s time to see what we can upgrade or purge. Grab your journal again and make a list of things you do at work that you’re really good at. What things do you do that are unique or special? Is there something that you do that people can’t get enough of? Why do you jump out of your seat to volunteer for certain projects?
Surprise! You now have a list of your strengths.
Next, grab a recent performance review or your last annual review and look for keywords that describe you. Add these words to the list. Next, if you keep a “kudos” or “complements” email folder, search for keywords in these, too. Wait, what?! You don’t save your, “Great job!” emails? If you don’t keep a paper trail of your accomplishments, no one will. Get control over your “That ‘a girl” emails and feel empowered.
Now you have a list of skills. Head over to LinkedIn and announce them in your skills section. Then your awesome network will start endorsing you for them to help build credibility. You have control over your tribe so if you haven’t started building yours on LinkedIn get to it.
How You Are Shining Your Light Today
Lastly, examine how you are using these awesome strengths and skills, or your light, in your current role. If you are using them, how is that going? Are you enjoying it or could you shine a bit brighter (and how, exactly)? You want to make the use of the strengths and skills memorable to everyone you work within and outside of your company. If you aren’t making that happen, how can you? Now you have a few career goals.
Career Goal #1: How can you better use your strengths and skills in your current position?
If you are not using many of them, don’t fret because using them is going to become a career goal. Get audacious and dream about how you’d like to use these strengths and skills in the future. Use this vision to make three career goals you’d like to hit within five years.
Control Your Career by Setting Goals To Make You Shine Brighter
Lastly, use the S.M.A.R.T. method to set put your goals into motion. As a result of following this type of format your goals will push you to succeed and guide you in the right direction.
Specific: If you make the goal vague it’s useless and un-motivating.
Measurable: If you can’t measure it or put a numeric value to it, how will you know you’ve hit it?
Attainable: The goal should be just out of reach, for now, but doable for you in the future.
Results-Oriented: The statement should explain what kind of result you want to see.
Time-focused: There needs to be an end date otherwise the goal is just flapping out in the wind with no pressure to complete it.
Career goal #2: How could you use your strengths and skills in a future position so you can shine your brightest?
Finally, you are armed with a plan and ready for your mission! With your career journal in hand, you are ready to start taking control of your career in these four easy steps. This is you building a foundation for what’s to come. There’s no career movement yet or job hunting involved. Just thinking, marinating on what you’ve come up with, and a bit of planning. When you feel like things are under control you’ll feel empowered to take the next step.
Working Mom, want more?
I hope so! If you want more motivating resources from the Working Mom Survival Blog, sign up!