The last half of the year may already be well underway, but that doesn’t mean that time is up for you to be able to make much needed changes to your performance or goals (or a complete pivot) so that you can make the last half of the year count for your career. Part of being the CEO of your own career is holding yourself accountable and keeping yourself in check throughout the year, so that changes can be made and goals can be crushed. Some of the best ways to ensure you keep yourself in check and make the last half of the year the best is to always keep track of your accomplishments, look back on past performance reviews and implement changes needed, reassess your professional goals set, and understand how your salary compares to others in your position and industry, so that when the end of the year comes, you can walk into your next performance review knowing you killed it all year, and are prepared to fight for the salary you desire.
Keep track of all of your accomplishments (and go back and add recent ones, too) so that you have record of all of the big and small wins you had during the year. Think about those tight deadlines you met, the extra projects you took on that made a difference, those deliverables you hit out of the park, when creating this list, think of this as your brag list, write down anything you’ve done in your professional career that you’d brag about given the opportunity.
Take an afternoon and look back on all of the performance reviews you’ve had this year and do some analysis. Check for common factors of positive and constructive feedback to see patterns in your performance that either need to be improved upon, or added to your brag list. And as always when receiving feedback, come up with a plan of action for how you will implement the recommended changes you choose to take in before the end of the year.
While coming up with a plan of action on how to act on the feedback you received, be sure to also reassess the professional goals you set for yourself, and that your boss set for you, and reevaluate the feasibility, and relevance, of them. Throughout the year realities and goals change, and sticking with goals on your personal development plan that you set six or more months ago may seem out of place or character since you’ve grown more into yourself and your role. Be sure to have a frank conversation with your manager if you find yourself questioning the importance or do ability of a prior goal set, and discuss the possibility of changing your development goals to match your adjusted path and life.
Another key item to keep your eye on as the last half of the year rolls on, is how your salary compares to industry (and company) standard. Most people wait until the year begins wrapping up (or begins again) to start researching their salary and determining if a negotiation should occur, but keeping your eye on this information at the same time you are reevaluating your performance and goals helps you prepare yourself to head to the negotiation table whenever you are ready for that next step.
Throughout the year it is important to keep an eye on your performance as it compares to your yearly goals, keeping track of where you are and comparing it against where you set out to be at the end of the year gives you a chance to change your strategy and execute tasks and deliverables in different ways in order to meet your goals- or pivot to new goals. All of this is key to ringing in the New Year knowing you put in your best effort and work into your career and having the confidence to walk into your end of year review knowing the outcome will be nothing less than spectacular.