Welcome to 2013, a brand new year to be all we can be! As we pursue our yearlong quest for optimal personal productivity, many of us make New Year’s resolutions. In my post 3 Goals for 2013 I talked about the importance of setting goals instead of making resolutions. Because the goals you set today are the resolutions you keep for the year. But, if you are not into resolutions or goals how about a-to-do list? That’s right a simple listing of things that you want to get accomplished in the New Year. So as we unpack this sparkling New Year I am proud to present for your consideration a 6 item to-do list for 2013.
The odds are that the way you’ll do work on January 1st of 2013 won’t be the way you’ll be doing work on December 31st of 2013. In a recent Gallop poll more than 50% of employees responded by saying they have experienced “significant change” in the way they do work in the past 12 months. From reorganizations to new workflows to layoffs change is a big part of the workplace. Make sure that you are flexible so your boss sees you are someone who can get the job done no matter what’s happening around you.
Keep up with trends in your industry by either reading trade, business and general publications or checking out online sources. Then take what you have learned and apply it to solve problems in your workplace. It will make you a more valued employee.
❸Strengthen Your Network
In today’s workplace sandbox everyone has to play well with others. Fitting within the network of the workplace is a part of the new definition of a great employee. The idea that you can be an individual contributor and be successful is an idea of the past. Why? Look at the numbers, research from the Corporate Executive Board indicates that 40% of all employees work with more than 20 people on a given day, and more than 80% work with at least 10 people. Its arithmetic! People who can build strong networks on the job and outside the job have a big leg up in the getting things done department. Read my post 5 Ways to Power Up Your Networking in 2013 for tips on strengthening your network.
❹Seek Leadership Opportunities
Pursue a strategy to actively seek opportunities for leadership including chairing employee teams, or leading projects no matter how small and trivial or large and daunting the task may seem. “Be selective about taking on leadership assignments….but aggressively seek them,” says General Colin Powell. “There’s a difference between begging for these opportunities and raising your hand,” he warns, “but if someone says there’s a job to be done, raise your hand first and then ask for help. Powell ended by saying, “The biggest mistake a person who would like to get ahead or stay employed can make is passing up the opportunity to lead.”
❺Make Friends with the IT Guy
Technology is the lifeblood of a productive workplace. According to the Corporate Executive Board the average number of work-related emails we receive each day has increased fourfold since 2005, underscoring the explosive importance of technology in the office. This makes the IT Guy and the IT department not just another employee or department but a vital part of the workforce. Don’t stop making nice with just the IT Guy, making friends with admins is an important move as well. In the workplace of 2013 power, authority and decision making is cropping up in some unexpected places. And administrative assistants are at the center of it all. Underestimating their authority—or missing the opportunity to develop a strong relationship with the IT Guy or the admins is something no employee can afford to do.
❻ Become a Thought Leader
A thought leader is an individual that is recognized in and out of the company as an authority in selected areas of specialization, making that person a go-to source. Strategy consultant Dorie Clark, writing in the Harvard Business Review outlines 6 steps on How to became a Thought Leader, 3 of those steps include creating a robust online presence, networking, and public speaking. I urge you to read this post to discover the secrets of sharing the knowledge you already have with the world as a thought leader. In the post you will learn that good employees are nice to have but thought leaders are irreplaceable — and indispensable.
The Bottom Line: It is all up to you
You a much more than an employee you are flexible, you are a networker, you are a leader and you are a thought leader. The arc of your career is in your hands and the first step in this process is knowing that you are in control. Working with this 6 item to-do list for 2013 can give you the confidence if you need it along with an achievement roadmap to get ahead, stay on the job or get a new job. – Remember it is all up to you.