It’s the top of the year and work has been keeping me pretty busy all month. So busy that at the end of each day, my focus is mainly on decompressing when I get home. That includes preparing + eating healthy dinners, organizing for the next day and reading before bed. I’ve had a few holidays throughout this month to keep me balanced, however, making the extra time after work to maintain a clear head space has been imperative to not bringing home any work related stress.


One thing that I really enjoy doing each year is creating a list of professional goals I’d like to achieve. Last year I was pretty successful with planning goals that were brought into fruition. This process really helped me to focus on where I am currently, the professional development I wish to invest in, along with the growth that I wish to see in my skill set.

Here are a few things I like to do to stay motivated and give myself a professional update:

Update My Resume

This is important for me to do every few months. Whether I’m updating the actual format or adding new skills; I like to keep my resume polished. This also reminds me of my achievements and skills I’ve developed, which in turn, gives me a clear sense of my journey. I find that with this refresh it also aids in helping to make short and long term plans for my career.

Attend a conference/seminar

One way I stay current in my field is by making plans to attend a conference at least once a year. One of the conferences that I attend each fall allows me to not only receive important updates, but also network with peers in the industry from other agencies. It’s an opportunity to learn from others and improve my own skills and knowledge. Ultimately I can take this information back to my office to do my job better.

Check in with MY manager

This played a very important role in my accomplishments in the workplace last year. My supervisor and I had several meetings in the beginning of the year regarding the desires I had to learn more in my role and professional development. I was very pleased that we were on the same page with obtaining the tools I needed to be successful. I absolutely wish to continue to do the same thing this year. I think it’s important if you want to flourish in your position, it’s important to communicate those interests to your manager. Not only does it show that you take your job seriously, it also projects that you’re taking the initiative to do better.


Last year I completed the Virginia Contracting Associate Certification Program. The VCA certification program is the first tier of the Virginia Institute of Procurement Career path for public procurement professionals. This certification makes procurement professionals very marketable. Having this be part of my professional portfolio was really important to me. Not only that, it also gave me a greater understanding of what I do and how it is to be done. Policies and guidelines are extremely important in this field and having the knowledge of how things work is imperative.

I also took a few classes in Excel to brush up on what I already know and to strengthen areas where I could use improvement. Taking classes put a boost in my confidence and gave me the motivation to do my job better. I believe that is always a plus. Most times your company has the funds to allocate to your professional development. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of speaking up. You must be your biggest advocate.


I love to clear my desk of clutter and organize important documents into file folders and lock drawers. This makes a huge difference in my attitude and productivity during the day. I tend to be motivated and able to find everything I need easily. I also like to go through really old documents and discard what I don’t need.


For the past few years I’ve made it a priority to sit down and map out my professional goals. Although I am not completely where I’d like to be in my profession; it’s made a difference in my current role. Do you have any professional goals this year? I tend to go back to my notes every few months to track my progress. Have a wonderful Monday! I hope your week is off to a great start.