Now that 2019 is nearing its end, it's time to take stock of your career and take steps to set yourself up for a successful 2020. And while you still have a number of weeks to make that happen, with the holidays coming up, it pays to think big picture now, before you're deep in the throes of scheduled time off and year-end deadlines. Here are a few important items you ought to check off your list.
1. Determine which 2019 goals you've yet to accomplish
Perhaps 2019 was the year you were aiming to tackle three new projects, or complete one new marketing campaign outside the realm of what you normally do. If you've only finished up two of those three projects, or you've yet to broaden your marketing horizons, the good news is that you still have a little time to make those things happen. But get moving now, especially if those goals aren't just objectives you set for yourself in your head, but rather, ones you also communicated to your boss in the past.
2. Review last year's performance assessment
If your company gives out yearly performance reviews, yours probably contained some action points to improve on throughout 2019. And now's the time to make sure you've hit on all of those points, because if not, you have a little time left to make positive changes that leave your boss thinking more favorably of you -- and that prompt your boss to recommend that you get a raise going into 2020.
3. See how your salary stacks up
Maybe your company typically offers cost-of-living raises, where employees get an across-the-board boost equal to the same exact percentage (say, a 3% increase in salary companywide). If that's the case, now's the time to see how your salary compares to that of the average worker with your job title. Do some research, and if you find that you're statistically underpaid, bring that up to your boss sooner rather than later, before raises are locked in for 2020. If, for example, you earn $52,000 a year, and the average person with your job title brings in $62,000, a 3% raise from your company won't really cut it, and it pays to fight for the salary you actually deserve.
4. Reach out to your network of professional contacts
Staying in contact with associates outside of your company isn't always easy, but it's important nonetheless. If you ever find yourself out of a job, or eager to switch jobs, those are the people you're likely to turn to for assistance. But while making small talk over email isn't always a snap, the impending holidays are a great talking point, which means there's no excuse not to send good wishes to the people you want to stay in touch with.
The career moves you make in the coming weeks could dictate how well you fare professionally in 2020. Tackle the above items, and you'll be in a great position to succeed once the new year rolls around.