While many wait for the new year to set goals, I like to get a jump start on things, and set a few end-of-year goals. December is an undoubtedly busy time for most, but in the last two weeks of the year I find that clients are MIA, projects are minimal, and it’s my chance to do all the things I’ve had my eye on in the past few months. So grab your Macbook, and a cup of coffee, and let’s cross a few things off the list.
1. Revamp Your Portfolio Site: Whether your site is hosted independently, through Squarespace, or Behance, the end of year is a good time to reflect on all of the amazingness you’ve created and inadvertently boast about your skills by posting them for everyone to see. It’ll take you into the new year with new found confidence and determination.
2. Get Ready for the ’T’ Word… Taxes: I know, it’s not fun at all. But it’s time for you to look up old check stubs, bank statements, receipts, and get ready for them. The more documentation the better. If you’re a freelancer you might be surprised by what you can write off… yes, that includes your Creative Cloud membership! So hey, maybe it’s not as bad as you thought?
3. Polish Your LinkedIn Profile: It’s one of those things we fill out once, and only edit when we’re job hunting. But people are seeing you on there more often than you think, and prospective clients are certainly stalking you… so make sure it’s up-to-date, is free of typos, and that your personal network spans as far as it can without spamming connection requests to people you’ve never met.
4. Learn a New Skill: Expectations for designers’ skillsets are moving faster than we can learn, but that’s no excuse. Have you been wondering how to create animated gifs, what the latest specs for e-mails are on iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, or about the newest features in Creative Cloud? Now’s your chance to take a few hours and add something to your resume.
5. Career Foresight: Nothing ever pans out as we expect when it comes to our careers, whether you’re in-house or freelancing. Now’s a great time to think about the upcoming year; check out new or up-and-coming agencies in your area, and seek out and research prospective clients. Make a few checklists, send a couple introductory emails, have coffee with an old colleague. Make sure your paths are solid so you’re prepared for whatever 2015 throws at you!
I don’t know about you, but I’m way excited for the upcoming year. Pave the path and get pumped, let’s do this!!