Kick start 2020 with good habits

Conduct a self-assessment, update social media

Kick start 2020 with good habits
As we move into the new decade, remember to take some time for yourself to reflect on the past decade and the decade ahead.
Monica Szabo

Happy New Year and welcome to the new decade. As safety practitioners it seems we are always busy and are sometimes neglectful of taking time for ourselves. I know I have been guilty of this from time to time, so I have made an effort to be mindful of taking time reflect. Along with the cold weather, January also brings a fresh start as a new year begins, and since this is also a new decade it is a good time to reflect and set new goals. Consider how these three simple ideas might help you leap into the new decade.

Have a growth mindset
It is easy to become complacent in ourselves — we are all so busy at work and at home that often we forget to consider what we need in order to grow personally and professionally. OHS practitioners who hold a professional certification or professional license will be used to having to maintain their certification through a professional development program requirement. How many of us though take full advantage of this opportunity and reflect on what knowledge, skills, or abilities we need to develop? There are many self-assessment tools out there that let you assess your competencies against a standard, or aggregate data set. Just like we benchmark our organization’s health and safety against others, you can benchmark yourself against your peers. By undertaking a self-assessment and self-reflective exercise you can identify gaps in your own knowledge, or areas for skill improvement. This awareness can then be used to help you identify learning opportunities that will be effective for you and will help you grow both personally and professionally. Take a look at what is out there not just in the safety world for inspiration to learn about something new.

Update your social media profiles
It is so easy to forget to refresh your social profiles – especially if you have more than one. Why not set January as your time for an annual social media review to make sure all your information is current, taking time to add and delete what may have changed over the course of the past year. This is especially important if you have held a professional certification or license and have changed your status, relinquished your certification, or had it revoked. It is easy to create an annual calendar reminder in any of the electronic calendar tools so you receive a prompt to do this. It doesn’t take long and ensures sites like LinkedIn, where you are presenting a professional portfolio to the world, is reflective of your current achievements.

Give back
So many of us have developed our professional network and resources through belonging to a membership organisation, or participating on technical committees, or other work groups. As we embark on a new year, consider how you might give back in any capacity. This could be volunteering for a professional organization, participating in a community or faith-based group or participating in a work group or activity. There are many ways to contribute, both large and small and I have found throughout my career that volunteering is a rewarding activity.

If you are looking for more of a one-on-one opportunity, consider becoming a mentor or a mentee. There are mentor matching programs offered by several of the OHS professional organizations and they are always looking for individuals to participate. Mentoring can be extremely beneficial to both parties and is a worthwhile investment of your time.

As we move into the new decade, remember to take some time for yourself to reflect on the past decade and the decade ahead. Research new trends, make a reading list and take some time just to enjoy life. With this in mind I am wishing you a healthy, happy and prosperous decade!