If your New Year’s resolutions include setting yourself new career goals or even a career change, start by looking back at the past 12 months.
5 career questions you definitely should ask yourself to start the new year.
To figure out where you want to go in 2020, you need to know what you’ve accomplished in the past 12 months, taking stock at the start of the year allows you to focus on your achievements and help you to adjust your approach to career and work.
With the new year already starting, you may be focused on what you want to achieve over the next 12 months, however before you do that you need to have an accurate picture of where your career currently is, and what it looks like. To do so you need to conduct a mini career evaluation including; are you positioned for career advancement and promotion or you are stuck in a rut with no career progression insight?
To help with your mini career evaluation, ask yourself the following five questions as you look back over the past 12 months and career in 2020.
What career goals did I accomplish?
If you set yourself some challenges last year well done, but more importantly did you act on any of them, what were your achievements? Did you take on greater responsibility, fill in for a manager, apply for new roles or get the promotion you were hoping for?
Or did you just sit back, go through the motions of your job doing as little as possible and see no progression?
It’s important to sit down and write a list of your accomplishments big and small, this may have included a pay rise, a key project you worked on, or even as small as updating your resume and Linkedin profile. When you can see what you’ve been able to accomplish or at least start, it will give you motivation. It doesn’t matter what you achieved, it’s important that you made progress and took action, that you weren’t just standing still and treading water.
Did I improve or learn new skills?
A sign of professional growth towards work and your career is when you can compare the size of your skillset at the beginning to the end of the year. You need to sit down and think about what you did last year to increase your expertise and skills for your position or industry. This may have included learning new software, taking the lead in more projects, mastering a new company process or a new qualification you received.
If you are unsure of what skills you have improved, ask your manager for some feedback. This should form part of any performance review and gives you an outside perspective of where you have added value.
What would you change?
Consider what is the one thing that happened at work over the past year and what you would change. Was there a mistake that you made or a missed opportunity that you could have handled differently?
If you’re able to acknowledge your mistakes, then it is an area that you can improve in the future. You can focus on small changes to ensure that you don’t repeat it moving forward/ Also knowing where you missed an opportunity will allow you to be aware when being involved in certain projects or taking greater responsibility in the future will help not only with your career advancement but your satisfaction.
Am I happy with my job?
It’s such a simple question however, it is one that many people aren’t honest with themselves about. If the answer is no, then you need to understand why so you can try and fix the problem or move forward in a new direction. You may ask yourself, is it the people I work with? the company itself? Am I passionate about the work I do? Whatever the reason, you need to know so that you can take the time to work it out and make a change. This may be a simple fix; it may also mean a change of companies or careers.
What do I want to achieve in my career in 2020?
Having looked back at the past 12 months you now need to focus on what you want to achieve in your career over the next 12 months. You need to sit down and focus on four to five goals for 2020, write them down and break them down into smaller, achievable steps that you can complete in a monthly, weekly and daily basis.
Once you have written them down speak to the people important to you in your life, your manager, boss your family about how they can help you achieve them.
Should you change jobs or careers?
If your current job or company isn’t going to help you achieve your goals, then you need to consider if there are other businesses out there who can. If you are in the wrong career or job, then seeking professional career advice on a career change and transition will help you in your next steps.
If you would like some help to assist you with planning the next steps in your career or a complete career change, see our Career Coaching and Career Consulting services and speak to one of our expert career advisors who’s able to assist you.