Career Corner: One word

Career Corner: One word

The most powerful thing you can do at this time of year is not to set yet another soon-to-be-forgotten new year’s resolution.  What you need is just one word. This one word will not conceal a list of actions – the things that you want to do – but enable a way of living which will ensure you’re engaged with what you striving for in 2016.

So what is this magic word?  It’s the word (or short phrase, at most) that will theme your goals for your career progression and family life under a strong over-arching intention and get you thinking about the story of how you would like the coming year to pan out. 

It’s like opening a book called ‘The Year of X’, seeing the pages are blank, and writing your own words in it. You’ll forget the exhaustive lists, but will always be able to remember your ‘Year of’ and subsequent one-word thought.

I approached 2015 in this very same way, starting with reflection, then visioning and concluding with bringing my ambitions to life through a theme. For me 2015 was ‘The Year of Step and Trust’. On numerous occasions it helped me get out of a spiral of inaction, worry, or uncertainty over what to do next.  I’ve even had it on my phone screensaver all year.

Whether it’s a ‘Year of Seizing Opportunity’, a ‘Year of Collaboration’, or a ‘Year of Finding Balance’ this 3-step process will help you create your story of success in 2016.

Reflection: What are you grateful for from 2015?  What have you learned, or renewed your understanding of, in 2015?  Note down 3-4 key lessons you have learned this past year that you want to carry forward into 2016.

Visioning: Imagine ahead to December 2016. Begin by writing a list of your wins, successes and breakthroughs for the year. Be as specific as you can be and write them as though they have already happened.  Make the list as long as you like, exploring each area of your work and life that’s important to you.

Theming: You’ve detailed your 2016 key outcomes; now bring them to life by choosing a one, two or three-word theme that gives the year to come a name of importance and personal meaning for you.

Dream big – what is 2016 going to be your year of?

Rebecca Hourston is Managing Director and Head of Coaching Programmes at Talking Talent,, a global coaching consultancy whose mission is to accelerate women’s career progression and transform the experience of professionals transitioning to working parenthood, so that the world’s leading organisations step-change the number of women they have in their talent pipeline.

Released On 11th Dec 2015


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