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End of year reflection

Posted on December 14, 2016
Image of a lake during the winter with a small island reflecting on the calm water.

As we head into the holidays, most of you will have holiday parties and family gatherings to attend. Many of you will take a few extra days to reboot before starting the new year on the 2nd or 3rd of January, and number of you will create a list of New Year’s resolutions. This is also a great time to evaluate your career goals.

To adequately reflect on your career, begin by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Do I like what I am doing?
  • Do I feel challenged?
  • Do I enjoy my co-workers?
  • Is my boss supportive?
  • Is there opportunity for growth?

If you answered “No” to any of those questions, then it might be time to consider a change, but it shouldn't be about just getting a different job, otherwise you’ll end up in the same place a year from now. You have to did deeper and think about your career trajectory. Where do you want to be in five years, ten years? If you hope to be the SVP of Human Resources in five years, then map out what it will take to get there: the roles in between your current position and the SVP position, and then note other barriers such as education, certifications, experience, and accomplishments, etc.

While there is a difference between required and recommended, you need to read between the lines. If staying at your current company is an option, then look at those people who currently fill the roles you will need to pursue to achieve your long-term goal. If all of the HR managers have certifications or advanced degrees, then you will also need those qualifications, even if job descriptions state recommended versus required.

To gain more experience, volunteer to take on projects where you can shine and showcase your skills. Record your achievements and keep evidence – it is easy to forget over time what you’ve accomplished and we are notoriously bad about self-promotion.

If you have the skills, experience, and other qualifications to make a move now, then it’s time to work on your resume, LinkedIn profile, and begin the job search process. Go back to those questions and ask:

  • What do I like doing?
  • What will challenge me?
  • What types of people do I enjoy working with?
  • What qualities do I value in a boss?

The answers to these questions will help you develop a long-term plan. Then take a few minutes to check out previous blog posts on subjects such as Creating a Job Search Plan, Interview w/Valerie Germain, 5 Writing Tips for Business, Update Your LinkedIn Profile, among others.

Happy Holidays to you and yours, and take some time for yourself to reflect on your career, your goals, and your future.

Look for new blog posts on topics like these and others in January.

Anne Converse Willkomm
Director, Graduate Publishing
Goodwin College
Drexel University
Posted in professional-development-career-tips