by Darren Caveney
New year’s resolutions… I’m sure that I read somewhere over Christmas that 86% of us don’t stick to them. So, the choice is pretty simple: either don’t make any, or only embrace those which are do-able and will make a real difference.
Career resolutions are just as important as the obligatory ones about health kicks, weight loss and being better with money.
But will we all stick to them? Er, well, approximately 14% of us will, then.
So, with your career in mind, here are five suggestions for things to explore, try and roll into your work in 2012. Get them right and they might just make you even better at your current day job. Or, they may just help you nab that new job you hanker after (is that another one of your resolutions?)
- Learn a new skill – Statistically speaking, it is likely that some of us will lose our regular comms jobs in 2012. Sad but a sign of the times. None of us should sit around waiting for that call from our boss. Work on the basis that there is a decent chance it will happen and get skilled-up now. For example, how about create a wordpress site of your own. A better understanding of how to set up and run a basic blog site will really begin to sharpen your understanding of all things web.
- Network – Not that crusty, old-style networking, breakfast meetings, after work soirees etc but some real networking with people you can learn from and share ideas with. Get yourself to something like Brewcamp. They have been running in Birmingham for a year or so and there are bound to be something similar in your neck of the woods. Don’t be daunted if it all looks ‘too techy’– these events are attended by smart people who you can learn from.
- Experiment with social media - You need to be comfortable using these channels alongside your traditional channels. Horses for courses has always been a truism and never more so than right now. What’s that, you don’t like or use social media personally? Doesn’t matter. You probably don’t care much for your local newspaper but I bet you dedicate a fair bit of your valuable time to them. Get with the programme.
- Portfolio career – For some of us, our future careers are likely to be made up of smaller chunks of paid for work, rather than the traditional 9-5 job. So why not embrace that thinking now and look at other avenues and opportunities. Could you do some voluntary comms work for a local organisation or charity. Could you organise a comms event in your area for professional to come together and share ideas. How about some extra part time work for a local small business or even as a consultant. The world is full of consultants but you possess some vital comms skills. And with the offer of comms planning and practical hands on delivery, coupled with a realistic rate, who knows you may be able to develop and build a side-line (but don’t forget to tell your HR department if you do any of this)
- Train to gain – I’d put my mortgage on the fact that your training budget has been at least reduced and more likely removed. But training doesn’t have to be the traditional classroom-style, £400 a pop experience. Is there someone out there doing great things who you’d like to learn from? Well why not contact them, see if they would be prepared to let you visit them, shadow their work and better understand what has led to their success. Your organisation gains and so will you on a personal level. It might simply be the cost of a rail ticket or some petrol but don’t let budgets be a barrier and don’t expect someone else to invest in your training anymor1`e.
2012 is going to be a challenging year in comms on many levels. Be organised, have a simple plan and put yourself first a little in order to get yourself in a strong position to react to the inevitable changes but also the possible opportunities.