You should regularly reflect in order to stay on your career path and maintain your happiness. Think about what you’ve done, what your goals are and if they align with each other. While you should have daily, weekly and/or monthly reflections, the end of the year is a perfect time to put your life and career into perspective. Did you do all the things you wanted to and could do to take you closer to your goals? In addition to your new year’s resolution of working out more, make a few for your career’s sake. Move up in your company and finish that project you haven’t started.
2014 is gonna be an amazing year. It’s up to you if you’re gonna allow yourself to have one. Ask yourself the following 10 questions to help you do that:
1. Am I happy and satisfied in my career?
For some of us, the answer to this question may be glaringly obvious – mainly because we’re either on one end of the spectrum or the other. However, many people go through their days, weeks, months and years without truly assessing how happy they are in all aspects of their job. Be honest with yourself – are you truly happy in satisfied in your career? Do you truly enjoy what you’re doing, who you’re doing it with and what sort of company you’re doing it for? We hope the answer is yes – but if not, don’t get down on yourself – instead, get ready to make some changes.
2. What can I do this year to improve my career satisfaction?
Whether you’re madly in love with your job or simply feeling “meh” about the current state of your career, there’s always room for improvement. Ask yourself – what steps can you take to improve your career satisfaction? Whether they’re personal changesyou need to make, or external changes such as more money or more responsibility, it helps to sit down and identify what will make you happier both at work and in your career.
3. What lessons have I learned about myself this year?
If you really stop and think about it, there are probably countless things you’ve learned about yourself this year. These don’t have to be earth-shattering revelations! Maybe you’ve discovered that you don’t thrive in an open-plan office, or you truly enjoy working closely with clients, or maybe even that you work better in small teams. Take note of these little “lessons” – when the time comes to find a new job, they’ll help you in your decision-making process.
4. How have I grown or improved this year?
Even if you feel as if your career is currently a never-ending version of the movie Groundhog Day, there’s no doubt in my mind – you’ve still grown this year. If you’ve had a year full of changes, this will be easy – for many people, it will not. However, it’s worth spending sometime really thinking about this. Pinpointing and identifying the ways in which you’ve grown and improved can help build your self esteem and really put things into perspective. In fact, if you stop and think about it, you just may be amazed at how much you’ve accomplished in one short year!
5. In what ways do I hope to grow in my career this year?
No matter how great we are at our jobs, we all have room for improvement. For example, I’d like to grow my verbal communication skills and not have a mini-panic attack every time I have to share my thoughts and ideas with someone. Perhaps yours is even bigger (such as getting promoted to VP of Awesomeness) or something smaller. Maybe there are even a handful of ways you’d like to grow this year! Whatever your goals are, identifying them is the first step in reaching them.
6. If I could gain one career-related skill this year, what would it be?
You know what they say – skills help pay the bills. Is there a career-related skill you could acquire this year that would help you grow in your career, make more money or simply make you happier? While there may be many skills you’d like to work on, focus on one and spend some time thinking about how you can achieve that goal this year.
7. What’s one career-related skill I think my boss would like me to acquire this year?
It’s no secret – when your boss is happy with your accomplishments, your job just becomes that much easier (and probably more fun, too!) The best way to impress your boss is to take the initiative to learn new skills that will help you thrive in your job. So, what is one skill you think your boss would like you to acquire or improve on? If you’re not sure, ask – more than likely, your boss will be happy to answer your question. If not, cue “bad boss” warning signs!
8. What accomplishments am I most proud of this year?
Hey, give yourself a pat on the back and take some time to think about the things you’ve accomplished this year. Some of your accomplishments may be big (like getting a much-coveted promotion) while others may be seemingly small – but important nonetheless. When you really stop and think about all of the “wins” or things you’ve overcome this year, you’ll begin to think, “Hey, I’m pretty darn awesome, aren’t I?” You go, girl.
9. Where do I hope to be in my career by this time next year?
Maybe you’re looking for a new gig, a job in an entirely new industry, or a bigger paycheck – or maybe you’d simply like to be even better at your current job. Whatever your goal for the next year is, take some time to think about it. What will you have to do this year to reach that goal?
10. What’s my ultimate dream?
The sky’s the limit! When we were little, we allowed ourselves to daydream about our careers without worrying about what was realistic. All-too-often, people say things like“I’d love to do ____, but…” – and as a result, they prevent that dream from even being apossibility. So go on – get crazy and allow yourself to daydream a little. What would your perfect job look like? What would your boss and coworkers be like? What sort of company would you be working for and what type of work would you be doing? Be completely honest with yourself – even if your answer is “I’d love to make six figures by traveling the world as an Elvis impersonator” and you feel silly admitting it. Most importantly – don’t allow yourself to amend your dream with “…but that would never even be a possibility because…”