We are going to start a new year in a coming week and each of us is thinking about a better job or position or even improving current job in a company. From my experience as a developer, holidays are a good time to take a look at what you have done in the current year and what are your interests for the future. Here there are some steps you can take to start your new year very strong.
Review Your Previous Year
First of all, you need to take a look at what you have done in the current year. We usually review our work in different steps but in this time of the year, it is good to look at it from different perspectives. One way is to make a list of all of the projects and tasks you have done, while also considering the tasks you have not done. Then try to score them based on the importance of tasks from the company perspective or technical perspective. At the end, you can sort the list based on your scores and it gives you a better view of your progress.
Make a List of Achievements and Failures
In the previous step, you made a list which has been sorted based on scores. Now, you can separate your achievements into one list and in another list, you can write your failures. What failures means here is a task which has not been done in time or even has not started yet because of lack of time or skill. So, it doesn’t mean a real failure but it means the plan in which that task was supposed to be done has failed.
Follow Trends, New Tools, and Updates
As a technical person, it is essential to follow technical news, looking at trends and considering the new tools and latest updates for tools or programming languages you use. These days, we are spending a lot of time on social networks. On the train, bus, or even in the breaks at work, people are busy checking emails, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Snapchat. If this is one of your habits, I suggest changing your habit for a short time and try to spend that time on reading an article or looking at the new updates of a tool or language you are using.
Make a List of Things You Like to Learn
After following trends and studying new articles you may come up with some ideas about areas you want to improve or skills you want to gain. To achieve any of these, you need to increase your knowledge and practice. So, it is obvious this process takes time, from days to months, but in this step just make a list of topics which you are interested in and then try to score topics based on the importance of each to your current job or maybe a next job. The importance here means how much that skill or technic is needed or necessary to know, so one subject can be the first item for someone and be at the end of the list for somebody else.
Choose One Which Fits
Now, it is the time to choose one of your topics which you like to do first. Of course, there can be a lot of things you want to know or learn but the aim of these steps is to help you to get one learning subject done, so focus on an area or subject which can fit your current situation and the time you have in your holiday. For instance, if you want to become a project manager then it is not possible to do it in one day or a week, but if you like to learn about one tool or start a foundation course about a programming language, you can probably do it in your holiday. If it makes you confident enough, start using it and continue it after the holiday.
Find a Course or Tutorial
Today, there are a lot of sources for online courses. You can find a lot of useful course from Lynda, Udemy, LinkedIn, and many other websites. The duration of the courses usually is less than 2 hours so it is possible to finish the course in less than two days. As I mentioned before, it is really important to focus on one subject in order to make it happen at the end.
Here You Are!
Nothing better than new skills and ideas to provide motivation to return to your job after the holidays. I think it is possible to make use of part of your holidays to have a better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses and make a plan to improve your career.