Archive: Take time for a mid-year review — from the Career Opportunities Podcast
Here in the U.S., the end of one year, and the beginning of the next always brings out our desire to reflect on the past and plan for the future. We look back over the past year and note what we would like to change and then look forward, through New Year’s resolutions, goals and other plans. Unfortunately, by the time we reach the mid-point of the year in June, many of those thoughts have been forgotten, resolutions have been abandoned and we might find ourselves so immersed in our day-to-day work that we have lost all memory of what we had planned to do. If you aren’t doing it already, I highly recommend taking an hour, a day or even a week to re-evaluate the current state of your life and career so you can re-adjust your actions to re-focus on your goals.
As you head into the height of the summer, it is easy to lose sight of your goals. Business is moving at a blistering pace, family obligations are increasing and vacations might even be on the near horizon. There is so much competing for your attention that you tend to jump from one activity to another. So the first step in your mid-year review is to stop. That’s right. Carve out a portion of a day, or maybe several days, just to review and think about where you want to be by the end of the year. If you don’t do it now, it is very likely that you will be well off target when December arrives. This review gives you a chance to adjust your direction or even turn it completely around.
Maybe you have forgotten to follow up on an important issues, client or project. Perhaps you have discovered that this project is no longer important or has moved you in a direction you don’t want. It could be that some goals have been achieved or rendered unimportant. What new goals should be added? Life changes a lot in 6 months and you if you don’t take the time to review, you are likely to be pulled along with the current of life until you are reminded at the end of the year, “Hey, how did I forget about that?”
This is also a great time to review your relationships with friends, family and, especially, your significant others. June is a popular month for marriages in the U.S., so many of us, myself included, will be celebrating an anniversary this month. While you might want to take each other out for dinner and a movie, do a favor for both of you and talk together about your life and what adjustments you need to make.
At the most basic level, getting a handle on your schedules is a great place to start. I know that trying to coordinate the 3 wildly different schedules of my wife, son and myself, can be more difficult than I ever imagined. What plans do you need to make for summer vacation? What major projects are coming up in your work? Are their family events that require travel planning like airlines, hotels and rental cars? Get it all on the table now, so it doesn’t spring back to mind at the worst possible moment.
Take the time to talk about your plans and goals for the next 6 months. I find a quiet evening and a bowl of popcorn help to facilitate this. Make sure that everyone is aware of what everyone else is planning and doing. I can guarantee you that you will discover conflicts that you knew nothing about. Typically this includes items like the Scout camping trip falls exactly during the time of your big business trip to New York, or the family wedding, where you are the best man, happens before the kids are out of school. You don’t want surprises like this when a little review would have given you an opportunity to address them long before they occurred.
Don’t wait until the calendar rolls over to another year to review your life and career commitments. Take some time this month to re-evaluate, re-adjust and relax, comfortable in the knowledge that you know where you’ve been in the last 6 months and know where you are headed for the rest of the year.