As you gear up for the holidays and some well-earned time off, you can also use this period to review your past year of work and see where you want to go in 2017.  Whether you’re looking to secure a new job offer, advance at your current company or start a new business, you can journey down the road toward your goals.

Before you start the trip, however, you need to fill your car with fuel. Accomplishments fuel career aspirations.  An accomplishment is simply an example of your work that has made a difference to your organization or client. There are many ways to track accomplishments, and one way is a victory journal.

To start your journal, make a note any time you receive a congratulatory job well-done from your boss or a colleague. You can include anything you did well, such as the quarterly report you slaved over. You can also incorporate any responsibilities you had that were new — such as a solo client presentation.

Try to make entries in your journal each month. As you take the time to document new victories, also make an effort to reread your past entries. This will remind you of your worth and accomplishments, and be very useful when you’re preparing to ask for a raise or interview at a new company.

move ahead on your career journeyOnce you’ve filled your car with gas, you’re ready to start the trip. What landmarks will you pass on the road to your career goal?

There are four “landmarks” that will help you on the trip to your destination:

1.Make a Vision Board. This board, literally a collage of your hopes and dreams, will remind you daily of your aspirations. Be sure to put it in a place you pass often, and include items that you will enjoy looking at.

Also, update your board regularly, whether your goals change or not. Sometimes in the course of our journey, we find better landmarks!

2.Set goals for the Upcoming Year. Remember that we are all self-employed, and career planning is your responsibility. Decide what you want to do and the environment in which you want to do it. Also, think about who you want to work with, and what help you might need to move forward.

It will help to be very specific about your goal, and to put it in writing. Also, taking small steps toward your objective will make you feel like you’re making progress. Don’t forget to reward yourself!

3.Create a Career Advisory Board. An informal “board” can offer support to help you advance in your career. It can give you multiple points of view, providing perspective and enabling you to pick the best ‘route’ for you (think of it as career GPS!)

img_1880Keep in mind that it may take some time to put your board together. Also, remember to give back and provide value to your advisory board. In this way, you can create a mutually beneficial partnership.

4.Make Sure Your Career Reflects Your Values. As you plan for your career in 2017, it’s very important to consider your values, ideals, and what is important to you.

Do you want a lot of recognition? Is a high salary important to you, or do you want to spend a lot of time with your family? Only by carefully considering this landmark will you know where to turn on your career journey.

View our free resources page for more reinvention tips to use on your career journey.

By looking both behind and ahead, you can get an idea of the career trip you’d like to take. I hope 2017 is a happy, healthy, and successful year for you!