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.