Remember that yearly career plan you and your boss came up with awhile back? Have you been ignoring it? That’s okay but let’s get you into the habit of reviewing that yearly plan. Here’s a quarterly plan for reviewing last year’s annual review and preparing for this year’s.
- Q1 – The first quarter is typically the toughest to make progress since there’s no real sense of urgency. However, Q1 presents the most opportunity because often times you are adjusting to new plans and aren’t running at full steam. This is a great time to take care of smaller goals on your list, particularly personal/professional development ones. More importantly make sure you have gotten rid of any bad behaviors your boss noted in your review.
- Q2 – The second quarter is when programs are often in full swing. It’s time to make sure you have started towards your goals and have a plan for accomplishing them. Go over the details, look at your new goals and start setting up reminders and putting things in place. If you are busy with projects that’s fine but make sure you are performing in the ways your boss hopes to see this year. It’s a good idea to have a conversation or two with your boss about the adjustments that you are making. This way he or she sees them and you get clarity on what your boss expects.
- Q3 – The third quarter is when you try to complete most of your goals leaving the fourth quarter of the year for any goals that were tougher, needed more time or changed on you. It won’t be easy because you’ll be pretty busy but you want to make sure you demonstrate your improvement or your success on your biggest projects. Now is also the time to force yourself to address those tougher goals you’ve been ignoring, especially if you’ll need to invest some time on them.
- Q4 – This is it! The fourth quarter is when you should be moving your goals to 90%+ accomplished. Time will pass quickly and it will be easy to let things slide to the last month – don’t! If any of your goals are not applicable, talk to your boss immediately. Do this in the first month in case your boss decides to modify it or create a new one in place of another.
Achieving your yearly career goals is the number one way to get a raise or a promotion. Tackle your goals for your sake so that you continue developing your career. Punching out your yearly goals is a small way to get the maximum reward from your hard work throughout the year.
Amy Wolfgang is a career coach who founded Wolfgang Career Coaching and co-founded Coaching 4 Good. She brings over 15 years of corporate and coaching experience to help organizations boost employee engagement while simultaneously helping her clients excel in their careers. She is a certified PCM (Professional Career Manager) and has a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin.
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