How often do you make time to reflect on your career?
Navigating our careers and being successful requires action on our part. Reflecting is an easy way for you to gather some insights on what you want to start, continue or stop doing to get to the next career level.
In this post we will reflect on your career so far, start planning for the future and discover a tool to help you build the career you want. This is one of the posts where you would have to take notes to get the most value.
Why is it important to reflect on your career?
The benefits of making time for reflection include:
What aspects of your career have you found most rewarding and why?
Think about your fondest work memories. Reflect on what made those experiences so special and great. Reflect on the work assignments that brought you joy.
What keeps you excited about your field of work?
Reminding yourself of the reason you decided to take the career path you are on, is something you should do more often. It is easy to forget the passion you once had.
What are your career-related fears?
Reflecting on what has been holding you back from making those bold career moves is very important. Especially if you would like to see different results and achieve your career goals, knowing your fears allows you to address them.
How do you prioritize your career growth/development?
The concept of owning your career development is one that I talk about frequently. Making a conscious effort and investing in your career development should be a priority for you. Discover more practical tips in my previous blog post "Own your career development".
Who influenced you in your career?
Surrounding yourself with great peers, mentors and sponsors is essential to build a great career. Think back on the people that have played a small or large role in your career.
What's the best career advice you ever received and how has it changed your career outlook?
Think back on some of the great things you heard along the way that helped in your career. It could come from people, books, trainings or other sources. Write it down and share with others.
What are your greatest professional goals or objectives?
Knowing what you want to achieve in your career will play a huge role in your satisfaction and help you plan for the career future you want. Having a career plan will help you on your journey.
Tools in your Toolkit - Create your Career Journal
To make it easier to reflect on your career moving forward, start writing things down as you go. A few years ago I started writing things down mainly in preparation for conversations with my managers to ensure I did not miss any important details about my work. Recently, I made a slight change and started my weekly career journal. It may sound like as big task, but it is not. I dedicate about an hour every Thursday evening or Friday morning to document what I worked on, my highlights and lowlights from the week. This consistent practice helps me reflect on the week, celebrate my achievements, identify things I want to change and plan for the next week.
I recently transitioned to a new job. At the start of my job search, it was important to me that I had better experiences than in my previous job. At this stage I had a mixed portfolio of achievements and failures. I had learned lessons on what I wanted to do more of and what I did not want to do.
Reflecting on my career provided clarity in the following ways:
Call to Action
What are the three biggest lessons you have learned in your career so far? Learn from your past experiences.
What are you working towards this year? Identify your career goals and plan action.
"Insecurity is just something that's there all the time. I've never been crippled by it." Catherine Keener
Do you feel insecure or you're not good enough?
As women we have a lot we are insecure about such as our body image, knowledge, identity, experiences or our relationships. In order for our insecurity not to get in the way of our progress we need to take active steps to deal with it.
In this blog post, we will explore the definition of being insecure, how it affects our lives, the importance of dealing with our insecurities as well as practical strategies you can apply the next time you feel insecure. I will also share a little about my journey with insecurity.
What does it mean to be insecure?
Why is it important to face our insecurities ?
How does being insecure affect you?
What should you work towards?
The positive feelings are: secure, confident, assured, certain, decisive, stable, unafraid or untroubled.
5 Strategies to deal with your insecurity
#1: Accept your insecurities
Feeling insecure in any aspect of your life is normal. Being aware of your insecurities provides you with the opportunity to address them heads on. Spend time getting to know yourself more and equip yourself with the tool you need.
#2: Celebrate your achievements
Think back on those times when you overcame your insecurities and took a bold step. Celebrate them and acknowledge how hard you worked to make it happen. And then when you start doubting yourself or feeling insecure, take a look at what you've achieved.
#3: Commit to a plan
Setting a deadline and committing to a plan is a great way to hold yourself accountable to overcome your insecurities. The act of committing to do something puts you in a mindset of taking action.
#4:Do something you are afraid of
Take a step and do something you don't feel fully prepared for. The best strategy to face your insecurity is to take action. Sometimes it takes a while for you to start feeling confident. Continue taking steps towards achieving your goals.
#5: Share your story
Often, when we share our insecurities with others and listen to theirs as well, we feel empowered. Knowing that you are not alone with some of the challenges you face makes it feel better. Empower others and be empowered by others.
I also have my own share of insecurities. Recently I had to practice what I preach and face my insecurities. For about a year, I had been thinking about creating other avenues to share content and expand my community. Creating a YouTube channel was the next logical move, but I was too afraid to do it. I had never recorded or edited videos ever before. I was also very insecure about how I would look and sound on camera. There were many insecurities that I had to overcome before I took the first step.
The strategy that helped me was "Commit to a plan". Once I set a date to launch in March 2019, I had a date to work towards. For me keeping my commitment was more important than all the insecurities that held me back.
I did it !!! I launched my YouTube Channel this month.
Call To Action
What areas are you insecure? What strategies are you planning to apply? Identify your insecurities.
Celebrating you and all the great women around you!
To the mothers and caretakers
Thanks for investing in the next generation. Your selfless sacrifices will bear great fruit.
To the career women
You are thriving in a man's world - Go girl!
To boss ladies
Taking a plunge and start your own business or side hustle is huge. Your boldness and tenacity are impressive.
To those who have gone through divorce and heartbreak
Your strength and ability to continue your life after unexpected turns is exceptionally encouraging. When you feel lonely on your journey, reach out to your ladies and family who have your back.
To those striving to do good and give back
Keep making the world a better place.
To the women who have dreams
Take the first step. As this quote by Walk Disney says to well " All our dreams can come true if we dare to pursue them." Walt Disney
Continuing my relocation story with year 2 and 3 in the US. The theme of this phase was "shaking my foundation and new beginnings." A few weeks ago I completed my fourth year in the US. Looking back I'm amazed at how quickly time has gone by. While my focus in the first three years was getting settled, situated in my new home and growing my career, in year four I made a significant professional change.
In this post, I will share my experiences, learnings, and insights in my fourth year of living in the US. If you missed the first three years of my journey, read My Life in the US - Year 1 and My life in the US - Year 2 and 3 posts.
Going back home to Nigeria
Earlier last year, I traveled back to Nigeria. After living in Germany and now in the US, my life has changed a lot since I moved from Nigeria in 2001. In my three weeks there, I enjoyed great Nigerian food and reconnected with family I had not seen in years. Read more about my experience in my blog post. My trip to Nigeria after 12 years.
Going back home to Germany
In addition to going back to Nigeria, I also attended a family event in Germany. Spending a week in Saarbrucken a city I spent my first years in Germany brought back many memories. I had not spent this much time in Saarbrucken since I moved away in 2007. Showing my family my favorite pasta, kebab and breakfast spot was amazing. I was shocked at how much I remembered about a city I spent six formative years in.
Politics impacting my real life
When I started my journey in Germany as a student, dealing with visa applications was a very regular part of my life. Moreover, here I was again after 17 years of living in different countries; I had to make some changes. Being a legal immigrant working in the US, I was made aware of how policies that the government makes affects me. I've been blessed not to have any huge issues.
Growing my business
One of the things I have valued the most about living in the bay area is the idea of "you can do anything." This mindset helped me take a bold step and start my blog and business. There is something electrifying about being surrounded by other entrepreneurs who share their experiences and knowledge. Living in Germany, I am not sure I would have been bold enough to make such a big move.
Exploring my new home
Even after three great years, there were still somethings I had not yet experienced. I had the opportunity to travel more and enjoy California more. This is really one of the greatest places I have lived from the perspective of nature. In addition to traveling a little more, I also explored the sports culture by going to see my first basketball game.
Growing my network and community
Thinking back on last year, I was able to build my local network both professionally and for my business. I attended a lot of events and trainings that helped me expand my network. Meeting great women and business owners broadened my perspective. As I think back on one of the most exceptional experiences I have had so far in the US, it would have to be building a network of people who encourage you to do the big things you dream about.
As someone who has interviewed for Jobs in Germany and now in the US, I can definitely say there is a huge difference. I interviewed at four great companies on my quest to find a new job. Going through the preparation process and interviewing helped me be more confident about my skills and professional experiences. I had the opportunity to introduce myself professionally to about sixteen people. Interviewing in the US has a huge component of self-marketing which I had to learn to succeed.
Starting a new job
Professionally, I made a significant change last year. After being with the same company in Germany for eight years in total and in my first three years in the US, the time came for me to join a new company. I have learned a lot through the process of starting a new job in the US. As with every new thing we start, there have been a mix of good and bad experiences as well as many learnings.
Top 10 Lessons learned
Over the four years of my relocation journey to the US, I have learned so many valuable lessons, that I would like to share with you.
Call to Action
What is the biggest lesson you have learned living in a new country? Reflect on your experiences, document your lessons learned and share them