Guest Editorial: Reflecting Back To Move Forward

By Rick Verbanas
The New Year is a great time for reflecting on the past year and setting goals for the new one. Businesses do it all the time so why not you? Isn’t your job search your current job? While you may have a fantastic strategic plan and diligently work at it daily, have you sat down and really looked at where you’ve been and where you want to go?
If you are currently unemployed, you obviously didn’t reach your ultimate goal. However, now is the time to look back and analyze what did work. What do you think your greatest achievements were in 2011? Did you go on any interviews, get invited back, receive any offers, attend more networking functions? Are you “getting known” as an expert in your field or particular niche? Did you simply get started… creating a resume, getting to 100% on LinkedIn, printing business cards and so on?
“Celebrate your successes and learn from your failures” is a common saying. I think we can learn from anything if we ask the right questions. Sit down and analyze what made your victories successful. How did you get the interview? What did the hiring manager tell you when they invited you back? Why did someone reach out to you after a networking event; what expertise did they see in you?
On the other hand, what didn’t work? If you could do something different in 2011, what would it be? How would you do it differently?
As George Santayana wrote in Reason in Common Sense, “Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it.” So, looking back on the past year, it is essential we study what did and didn’t work and, more importantly, why.
Once you have done this – and I suggest you take a diligent month-by-month approach when reviewing 2011 – you are ready to set your goals for 2012.
What is it you want to accomplish this year? Whatever those goals are (create a personal marketing plan, increase your network by attending more functions, apply to more positions, do more volunteer work, practice your interview skills, further your education, make it to second interviews, receive more offers, etc.), write them down and make them public. Let your friends, family and colleagues know that these are your goals. Keeping them private is simply giving you permission to fail. Share them and make yourself accountable.
Once you have your goals, it is time for strategy. Look at what did and did not work last year and plan how you will build on your successes and change what did not reach your expectations. This takes time.
Numerous sources online and in networking groups like PSGCNJ can help. When you get your initial strategy in place, write it down, as well. However, make sure to use a pencil and be prepared to adapt to challenges along the way.
Having a strategy is the key. So is reviewing it, learning from it and making adjustments. You are the CEO of You, Inc., so take the time to ensure 2012 will be a huge success!
You can read other blogs by Rick Verbanas at

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