During the hustle, bustle and fun of the holidays, don’t forget to take some time to prepare for the new year ahead. The end of the year is the perfect time to think about what you have accomplished over the last 12 months and what you see yourself doing in the coming year. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of the last few weeks of 2017 and plan for success!
Evaluate Your Current Skills
Before we jump into a new year, think about the areas you’ve grown and the skills you’ve gained over the past year. It’s important to keep learning and to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in your industry, and hopefully, you’ve taken steps to continue to grow. At Farm Bureau, our agents are always tackling new challenges and applying new skills as the industry changes. Here are a few ways our agents stay on top of the latest news in the insurance industry and gain new skills:
- Sign up for industry newsletters
- Join industry groups on LinkedIn to connect with other professionals and learn the latest news
- Attend Meetups related to your industry or skills you’re interested in learning
- Discover ways to get involved in your community where you can practice your new skills
Are you already taking these steps? That’s great! Take note of the ways you were successful throughout the year so you know what to keep doing moving forward. Even if you didn’t gain all of the skills you wanted to this year, there are plenty of things you can do to set yourself up for success.
Think About How You’d Like to Improve Professionally
After evaluating your successes, take note of areas in which you weren’t as successful. Try to pinpoint the cause; were you unproductive? Did you have a poor work-life balance? While we understand not wanting to dwell on the low points of the year, you can learn a lot from your professional failures.
If you feel you often weren’t the most productive, test out some new tactics to make the most of your work hours. Pick up a new daily planner to stay organized. Start gradually setting your alarm earlier each day to kick off the new year with a little more time in your day!
If your work-life balance is a little off kilter, write down the ways you think it can improve. That could mean adopting a more flexible schedule or setting a rule that you won’t check your work email after dinner. Talk to your manager about the possibility of creating a schedule that works for you. If you can’t make your current position work with your personal life, it might be time to take a look at other career options that could be a better fit.
Start Making Goals for Next Year
Do you want to network more? Have you always wanted to learn how to be a better public speaker? Now is the perfect time to pick a few professional milestones you want to meet in the year to come. By setting goals, you can hold yourself accountable and not let anything on your list become forgotten. Try to include both business objectives and professional improvements in your list of goals.
Once you determine your goals, make a plan for how you will reach them. Set smaller goals and milestones that will get you to the finish line to keep yourself motivated. You’ll be able to track your progress throughout the year and prioritize what task needs to be completed first, giving you a higher chance of success.
Meet With Your Manager or Supervisor
If you don’t already have an end-of-the-year meeting set up, ask your manager if you could schedule one. Sitting down with your supervisor can help you understand where you excelled throughout the year and how you can improve moving forward. You can share your goals and aspirations for the coming year, showing your initiative. Your manager will also be able to provide feedback on what you can do to reach your goals.
By having this conversation, you can start to plan how you can get to the next step in your career. This conversation could give you the opportunity to let your manager know if you’re looking to take on more responsibility, as well.
Review Your Career Path
Reflect back on where you were at the beginning of the year and where you are now. Did you hope to advance within your company? If you think your job isn’t taking you on the right path, it could be time to consider a career change.
Start by determining what’s important to you in a career and what you want to get out of your job. Do your passions and your job responsibilities align? Once you’ve decided what you’re looking for, research the skills and characteristics people in these types of roles have that you want to possess. If you are determined and have a passion for helping others, becoming a Farm Bureau insurance agent could be right for you! Farm Bureau offers a Reserve Agent Program to allow you to test out your strengths and assess whether the insurance industry is where you belong.
Consider Becoming an Insurance Agent at Farm Bureau
If you think the new year could bring you a new career, learn more about why hundreds of people have chosen to become Farm Bureau insurance agents. Now is the perfect time to get started! We’re currently offering a $5,000 sign-on bonus for agents that earn their Series 6 and 63 licenses during the Reserve Agent Program or have their Series 6 and 63 when they contract. Click Get Started to find out more!