For over ten years, my women’s small group gathers as we step into a New Year, to reflect on the prior year and think about the year ahead of us to come up with our personal “Word for the Year.” This has replaced traditional New Year’s resolutions, selecting a word that provides a guiding theme and intention for the coming year.
Professionally as we prepare for our Cornerstone 2024 Annual Planning Meeting, I had an aha moment that a “Word of the Year” should not be exclusive to my personal life but that I can also have a “Professional Word of the Year.”
While personal words for the year focus on holistic growth, a professional word sharpens the lens, directing attention specifically toward career aspirations. This word becomes a beacon, guiding decisions, actions, and mindset in the professional realm. By choosing a professional word, you set the stage for a year of purposeful career development and success.
Steps to Choose Your Professional Word:
- Assess Your Career Goals: Begin by evaluating your professional objectives for the upcoming year. Consider areas such as skill development, leadership growth, networking, or even work-life balance. Your word should encapsulate these aspirations.
- Reflect on Your Strengths: Identify your strengths and skills that you want to amplify in the coming year. Your professional word can serve as a reminder to leverage these strengths and make a significant impact in your career.
- Consider Industry Trends: Stay attuned to industry trends and changes. Your professional word can reflect your commitment to staying current and adapting to the evolving landscape of your field.
- Identify Areas for Improvement: No career journey is without challenges. Pinpoint areas where you can improve or overcome obstacles, and select a word that embodies the resilience and determination needed for growth.
- Seek Feedback: Reach out to mentors, colleagues, or friends for input on your career goals. Their perspectives can provide valuable insights and help you choose a word that resonates with both your aspirations and the expectations of your professional network.
Words hold immense power. As we approach 2024, consider a “Professional Word of the Year”. They shape our thoughts, influence our actions, and define our experiences. By selecting a word for the year, you harness the energy and potential of language to drive positive change in your life. It becomes a mantra, a source of inspiration, and a touchstone for decision-making for the upcoming year.