Mid-Year Career Review: 4 High Impact Activities for Busy Moms
Career vision is so important for busy moms today. For those of us combining the two most significant areas of our lives – family and career – there is only so much time available to advance our personal and professional goals.
Before motherhood, you may have found you had more time to easily give away by saying yes to many things and working extra long hours. But now, as a mother, your time and energy has become so much more precious. You have to more purposefully manage your limited time and energy. More than ever, you want to make your time at work count towards your goals.
A crystal clear career vision means you have goals and direction that will help you know where to put your time and energy. Focus brings clarity to your priorities and helps you know when to say yes and when to say no to new opportunities.
While summer is a season to take time off to rest and relax, it’s also a great opportunity to reflect on your career vision by doing a mid-year career review.
Your mid-year career review helps you assess your career progress and evaluate your plans for the remaining year. It's your chance to set a short term goal (to accomplish within the next 6 months – hello 2018!) that aligns with your long term career vision.
This summer, check in on your career vision with these four high impact activities for busy moms:
1. Review Your Goals
Schedule 30 minutes of alone time with a journal to review your career goals. Answer the following questions in your journal to get the process going:
Where are you professionally? What are your current roles and responsibilities? What do you value? What are your strengths, priorities, and needs?
Where do you want to be professionally? Where do you see yourself in 5+ years?
Are you on track with getting to where you want to be in 5+ years? If yes, make specific plans for how to keep up your momentum. If no, set goals to get on track.
What’s one goal you can accomplish in the next 6 months that will bring you closer to where you want to be professionally? Make sure your goal is relevant to your career vision, challenging but feasible, specific about the who, what, when, where, and how of how you'll achieve it, and write it down to hold yourself accountable.
2. Reflect on Your Accomplishments
Instead of focusing on constraints standing between you and your goals, maintain perspective on the progress and accomplishments – both big and small - you’re making along the way. Keeping this perspective will inspire and motivate you to wholeheartedly go after the career success you aspire to, just as you wholeheartedly embrace motherhood.
Take 30 minutes of alone time to make a list of your accomplishments from the past six months. Whether you’ve made progress in your workplace or business venture, community activities, or at home, review the positive changes you’ve been making.
3. Update Your Personal Brand and Professional Contacts
Schedule one hour of alone time to update your resume and LinkedIn profile. Highlight recent accomplishments that will update your personal brand. If you’re not sure what accomplishments you’ve been making recently, spend some time on activity #2 to take stock of the great work you’ve been doing.
Updating your LinkedIn profile is a great way to inform your network of your recent accomplishments, but nothing beats making a personal connection. Choose three contacts you haven’t engaged with recently and reach out. Sure you can set up a few coffee meetings to catch up, but if you don’t have time for that there are a lot of other ways you can stay in touch. Send a relevant professional article to a contact. Forward this blog post to another mom. Write an email to wish a former colleague a happy summer. These little acts that only take up a few minutes of your day will go a long way in keeping your network from going cold.
4. Celebrate Success
This activity is so essential for busy moms. When you’re always going, going, going between career and family life, it’s easy to fly past success without recognizing all that you’re accomplishing.
Plan an activity that brings you joy to reward all your efforts from the past six months. Whatever that looks like for you – a mani-pedi, lunch with your girlfriends, a weekend getaway with your spouse, or booking a sitter for a Saturday so you can take a day to slow down and soak in some extra 'me time' – make it a priority to celebrate your success. You’ll feel recharged and ready to take on your career plan for the remainder of your year.