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Improving the Professional You for 2017 – Part 3

Professional Improvement Action Plan

If you have read parts 1 and 2 of Improving the Professional You for 2017, it’s time to take your information gathered and transform it into incremental changes that will take you where you want to go: achieving your defined professional and personal goals for 2017.

In part 1 and 2, we presented ways to gather the information you need to define what you want to achieve in 2017. However, without taking actual steps to achieve that vision you have, action is needed to make it a reality.

1. Match the priorities of your professional aspirations with specific actions needed to elevate your performance.

Each priority should have a clearly defined set of actions to take. For example, is it better to take courses or do research or can new knowledge be acquired from a mentor successful in those priorities you’ve defined? Define how much time in days or weeks you think it will take to acquire the new knowledge or skills. Select calendar dates to reach milestones and ways to measure progress toward the end result. Write all this down. Better yet, put this information on a whiteboard located in an area where you can’t miss seeing it each day. If you have taken the time to do the suggestions in the previous articles, it doesn’t make sense not to take on the daily discipline to make it happen. When you complete each milestone, place a check mark next to it and give yourself a small reward such as lunch at your favorite restaurant or a round of golf…or whatever suits your desire. We’re talking basic positive reinforcement here.

2. On a daily basis, take a few minutes to be alone and away from distractions.

Ask yourself how you are doing today and how are you handling your challenges and how you might do better. Periods of self-awareness help to keep you focused on self-improvement. If you find yourself upset or anxious about something, ask yourself why you feel that way and is there something you can do within yourself to reduce or alleviate the emotional impact. Whenever doing a self-awareness exercise, complete and brutal honesty is required. Try to recognize when you are lying to yourself or letting your ego get the better of you.

3. Find a mentor in enterprise risk, marketing services or analytics you can work with who has expertise where you need development.

They may not possess the complete package of success you seek but if they are masters of areas in which you need improvement, ask them to help you. For most people, being asked to mentor is an acknowledgement of respect.

4. Identify new things to learn that have at least some tangential aspects to your profession.

Innovation and technology is moving so rapidly, it’s hard to keep up with the latest devices and techniques that can provide you with an edge helping to reach your goals. Spend some time to research what is happening in risk and marketing technology solutions sector. Often joining a professional organization can be an excellent way to keep informed.

5. Find a way to develop other areas that may help your mental approach to your profession.

For example, recent advances in brain research and technology has given birth to a new industry of remote brain training where a combination of mobile hardware, specialized software and a certified brain trainer can help improve focus, memory, relaxation and general improvement in cognitive abilities. I mean, who doesn’t want to be smarter!

In conclusion, in our three part series, we hope we have provided you with a way to take more control of your life and profession. However, ideas are only ideas. Action is required to take your vision to reality.


Nation's Executive Search Group is sought out by leaders in Enterprise Risk Management, Marketing Services and Decision Analytics for mission critical sales and marketing leadership talent.

For more information, email or call Rob at (410) 827-0180,


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