In the last quarter of 2020 as I do every year as far back as I can remember I have taken some time out of my busy life to assess personally and professionally where I am today, where I want to be tomorrow, and the plan to get me there. 2020 was an exceptional year not just for me but for my family, my friends, my colleagues, my business acquaintances, and all the citizens of the world. Reflection is a sobering and honest exercise that highlights those attributes we sometimes take for granted such as our resilience to life changing events and to take stock of the relationships we have in our personal and professional lives. Planning your year ahead puts perspective on what it holds for you and I believe is a great place to start.
My personal development takeaways from many articles and readings that I have done on the subject which I use as a basis of my forward thinking revolve around social, mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical. I will focus on my personal development and how I started my personal development planning, some of my work colleagues prefer to have a vision board to build their plan nevertheless you need to consider a starting point:
- Set yourself goals (Be it personal or professional)
- Decide the level of importance of these goals. Prioritise goals
- Think about timing and about when you would like to achieve these goals
- A year like 2020 threw ‘a spanner in the works’ in most of our goal planning, however, recognise what could be threats or opportunities
- Develop your skills or expand your knowledge
- Think about your support network (Your partner; Your professional network or even your Dad or Mum)
- Reflect on and measure your progress
So after all my babbling above to get to the point on why I wanted to pen this article was that my development plan for 2021 is very ‘It’s all about me’. I am fortunate to have very clear goals set for 2021 in fact some of my goals are a little more long term spilling over to 2022 and 2023. I have managed to work through my ‘Why’ and ‘How’ by following the 7 points that I had noted above, well up to number 6 as I will only be able to measure where I am at in the coming months. Reflecting on the past year I have realised that my main goal was to expand my knowledge and develop more skills and in order to do this, I would need to go back to school. So that is what I have done! As I head into my mid 40’s and have not formally studied for almost 12 years to get back into the academic mindset is very daunting and will be challenging but I do believe rewarding when I see my goal achieved.
Once I had decided that my main goal was educational I set out to understand what that actually meant and what would I actually study. I had to strip right back to understand the roles I have had in my working life, the skills I have attained, the knowledge procured, and the experiences I have been afforded. Through this process, I realised I have a broad set of skills with a heavy weighting to time spent in the Financial Services industry to the past 6 years working in the recruitment industry which both are about developing people, relationship management, account management, and having a strong technical knowledge base to understand your specialism.
My decision was made that the Masters of Business Administration would be a program that would allow me to formalise in a qualification the thinking behind the experiences and skills I have into taking a reflective step back to understand the skills I actually do have and why. In order to get a taste of the program, I have attended a pre-workshop program over January which allows me to tweak my plan for the year and let my support networks know the challenges that are ahead. The challenge or the trick of the MBA is time management. You are pushed to your limits as you also navigate your professional life whilst making time for that work/life balance. I believe that because my social, mental and support structures are in place and having clarity of thought that my main goal for my personal development plan for 2021 will be tough but with focus and resilience will be measured as achievable.
If you have over the Christmas period had the opportunity to assess your personal goals for the year ahead and maybe a little lost as to what that looks like to you maybe try the process I personally went through myself, my way of thinking may not be your way of thinking but a starting point of understanding your goal/s I am sure the sense of achievement (and I will keep you all updated as to my progress) will be so rewarding at the end. If your goal is to make a career change in 2021 or look at further developing your team as their Manager or Leader and you want to speak with a trusted partner do reach out it would be great to have the conversation.
PS: I have many other goals for 2021….but I need to stop writing at some point in fear of my readers nodding off!