How to be Organized in 2009: Day 3 – Career & Work

NYR Day 3

The 12 Days of New Year’s Resolutions

This is Day 3 of The 12 Days of New Year’s Resolutions for Better Personal Organization

I’m spending 12 days posting ideas for new year’s resolutions you might like to choose for yourself. Each day focuses on a different life area.

Remember: go for progress, not perfection.

Following is an edited extract from the introduction to Module 3: Career & Work in Get Organized Wizard for Smart Women.

Day 3: Organize your Career & Work

Many people want to be more successful in their work life. But instead of proactively looking for ways to express their talents, impress their boss, seek a better position, or head out on their own, they simply wait for that golden opportunity to come along and find them. It rarely does.

When you put a little thought into your work and career you can be a lot smarter about finding work you enjoy and being rewarded well for it. Once you know what you want and how you’ll go about it, your attention and effort have focus.

So ironically, stopping and spending time organizing your goals and taking inventory of your situation now can speed up the process of developing your career over time.

Whether you want to excel in your current job, get promoted, find a new role, change careers entirely or put up your own shingle, think of how you can take stock, be proactive and develop the focus you need.

Current job

  • Current work
    Is it time to take inventory of your present work situation? Consider whether you:

    • enjoy your job
    • get to express a talent
    • like the work environment
    • feel challenged
    • have the resources you need to succeed in your role
    • are making progress on your career plan.


  • Performance
    You might also like to take stock of your performance. How are you doing on relevant indicators and how can you improve? Indicators might include:

    • productivity
    • initiative
    • being a team player
    • work quality
    • written and verbal communication.
  • Relationships
    People can be the biggest pain or greatest joy in a job. How well do you get on with:

    • superiors
    • colleagues
    • juniors
    • clients
    • suppliers?
      What can you do to improve your relationships?

Getting promoted

  • Requirements
    Optimize your chances of success by knowing the exact requirements for promotion and ensuring you meet each one.
  • Skills
    Need to upgrade your skills? Organize the steps, such as:

    • discussing what you need to do with your boss
    • getting training
    • proactively taking on more responsibility.
  • Performance
    Get your performance promotion-ready by organizing how to upgrade relevant factors, like:

    • productivity
    • initiative
    • being a team player
    • work quality
    • written and verbal communication.

Finding a new job

  • CV
    Cover off important CV elements and show their relevance to the role – including:

    • work history
    • skills
    • achievements
    • compelling cover letter
    • portfolio (if relevant).
      Take extra care with proofreading, presentation and brevity.
  • Interview skills
    Prepare yourself for:

    • common interview questions
    • a firm, pleasant handshake
    • confident presentation
    • knowing why you’re right for the job
    • salary negotiation.

Changing career/Starting a business

  • Finding your passion
    Do you have a ‘calling’? Consider what you:

    • enjoy
    • excel at
    • find meaning in
    • find interesting,
    • see as an opportunity.
      Is there something compelling at the intersection?
  • Exploration
    How can you explore a potential field for your new career or business? Consider:

    • books
    • courses
    • talking to people in your field(s) of interest
    • discussing ideas with family and friends
    • consulting a career or business coach.
  • Planning & research
    Do your homework! Get clear on:

    • who to speak to to learn more
    • what skills and knowledge you need to develop
    • financial preparation or safety net (don’t skip this one!)
    • next action steps.

Question: What area of Career & Work will you work on in 2009?

Note for users of Career & Work Wizard and Get Organized Wizard for Smart Women

Your Wizard contains guided worksheets for each one of these items, plus others, as well as additional prompts, ideas and suggestions to help you organize each one.

TomorrowDay 4: Fun & Recreation

Picture adapted from image by Aldon.

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1 thoughts on “How to be Organized in 2009: Day 3 – Career & Work

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