Leadership Expert Dr. Arin N. Reeves Offers Five Tips to Kick Start a Career in 2011

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Dr. Arin N. Reeves, president of leadership and inclusion consulting firm Nextions, offers five tips that can kick start a career in 2011.

Taking time during the holiday season to focus on long-term career goals can reap benefits in the coming year, and for years to come. The key is making achievement -- not activity -- the priority.

The new year is a good time for individuals to take stock of their careers and to strategize about how to get moving toward their professional and personal goals, says executive coach Dr. Arin N. Reeves, president of leadership and inclusion consulting firm Nextions (http://www.nextions.com).

“There’s a tendency throughout the year to be busy, but not necessarily productive; to work hard, but not necessarily smart. Taking time during the holiday season to focus on long-term career goals can reap benefits in the coming year, and for years to come,” she says. “The key is making achievement – not activity – the priority.”

Reeves, whose firm has helped businesses and individuals achieve their goals worldwide since 1999, offers the following five tips that can kick start a career in 2011:

  • Assess career, skills and aspirations. “Take a close look at where you are, where you want to be, and whether you have the required skills currently to move along your preferred career path,” says Reeves. “It is easy to identify how to grow the skills you need once you assess where you want to go and what you already have in place to get there.”
  • Project to the future. Thinking in terms of specific years such as 2012, 2016 and 2021 makes the goals more meaningful, according to Reeves. “Realizing what else may be going on in your life then – for instance, if 2021 is the year before you plan to retire – can help put planning into perspective,” she says.
  • Identify specific goals for 2011 that will support longer-term aspirations. “Figure out what shorter-term steps can be accomplished within the next 12 months that will take you closer to the longer-term goals,” says Reeves.
  • Create a personal advisory board composed of individuals who can lend advice on an as-needed basis. This can include someone who has already accomplished the same, desired goal, or a person who possesses other sought-after information or skills. “Supervisors or mentors, high-performing colleagues, even speech coaches or image consultants can bring valuable expertise to personal advisory boards,” says Reeves.
  • Establish “celebration points” and design what the celebrations will be.    Celebrations can come after any key milestone, such as obtaining a certain number of clients, completing a major project, or mastering a required skill. Reeves used this technique while finishing her PhD, inviting 40 people to a graduation party one entire year in advance, to coincide with the date she had committed to herself that she would complete her dissertation. “Knowing that 40 people were coming to my graduation party in 12 months inspired me to keep moving forward,” says Reeves.

Nextions has developed individual assessment tools, personal planning processes and templates for directed action, and calibration techniques to allow individuals to imagine, manifest and actualize their full potential.

“Individuals and organizations engage our coaches to enhance the effectiveness of current leaders, or build leadership skill sets in future leaders. We help develop and implement leadership development initiatives, and work with those who want on-board effectively, transition to a new position with confidence, or off-ramp with grace,” explained Reeves.

Nextions’ clients include Fortune 500 companies in many industries, law firms, universities, and membership organizations, plus C-suite executives, middle managers and other professionals.    Nextions serves its clients through its consulting and executive coaching practices as well as through the programs and workshops offered at its Leadership Institute.

Reeves, who has worked in leadership development and inclusion for nearly 15 years, holds a law degree from the University of Southern California and a doctorate in Sociology from Northwestern University. She has taught classes in law and society at Northwestern, appeared on National Public Radio, and authored a “Diversity in Practice” column for Chicago Lawyer magazine. She also served on the American Bar Association Commission on Women, where she co-chaired the Women of Color Research Initiative.

For more information, visit http://www.nextions.com or call 312-922-0226.

About Nextions
Nextions is a Chicago-based leadership and inclusion consulting firm that works with organizations and individuals worldwide to identify their next questions, make their next connections, and take their next actions.    

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