The year is coming to a close and you need to access how far your career has grown and how close you are to your goals. As a career professional, keeping track of your progress is key in setting and achieving goals. If you have no specific plan for your career yet, you might want to consider creating one.
As 2018 ends, here are questions you should ask yourself to assess how far you have come in your career progression.
Annual Career Progress Questions Ask Yourself
What were my achievements?
Achievements are accomplishments you get that are beyond what is expected of you. If you barely delivered what is expected of you, you cannot count that as an achievement because that is the norm. If you exceeded expectation in your delivery of targets, did something extraordinary in your role, won the company awards and recognition, those are achievements.
It is wise to separate personal career achievements and work achievements. Personal achievements are those you set for yourself like learning a new skill, enrolling for a new course, enlarging your professional network and so on.
At the same time, beware of the imposter syndrome that may try to nullify or trivialise achievements as well as set goals that you didn’t achieve. These will form your learnings that you can carry to the fresh year as you begin on another level of career growth.
What New Thing Did I Learn?
As a professional in your field, it is wise to note that everyday you do not learn something new, your competitor does. So, as 2018 closes, you should have quite the oasis of new discoveries and knowledge. It doesn’t have to be something ground-breaking like a new invention. Even those little life and work hacks you discover is new knowledge that cumulatively raise your status as a professional at the end of a period. Think back into that new skill you gained, that new way of solving problems a colleague showed you, or that new tool you discovered online that helps you tackle mundane tasks. Take note of these learnings and plan for more discoveries in the coming year.
What Was my Biggest Set Back in 2018?
As you acknowledge the achievements and new learnings, it is prudent to identify your regrets, failures and setbacks and objectively investigate their origin and solutions. If it is a project that performed dismally, what went wrong? What did you overlook in that failed campaign? What would you have done differently to get that lost opportunity? All those interviews that you failed, what could have gone wrong? All those job applications that came back unanswered, was it your CV that is failing you? Make a list of all those setbacks and devise solutions from the lessons learnt.
Which Habit Should I Let Go and Which One Should I Take with Me to the New Year?
Habits are repeated acts that eventually become a lifestyle. There are good habits and ofcourse, bad ones. You know yourself too well. You fully understand the habits you need to let go and those healthy ones you need to adopt. So in your annual career progress stock take, lay it all bare and be objective. If there are habits hurting your career like procrastination, wasting time on distractions, habitual tardiness, among others, you need to drop them. Endeavour to retain habits that benefit your career and you as a person.
What Was My Highest and Lowest Career Points in the Year?
Your career, just like all aspects of life, has its highs and lows. There are moments you feel on top of the world and other times you just want to throw in the towel. Such moments make you wonder if you made the right career choices or if you should consider another line of work. This question is important because it helps you identify red flags in your work life. If after your annual career progress assessment you discover that you had very few or nothing to be grateful, it is time to take a critical look at your career. Are you in the right place? Do you need to change your employer? Are issues internal or external? Make a decision on the way forward after this assessment.
You Need that Annual Career Progression Assessment
The above questions are not exhaustive, you need to look inward critically, depending on your industry, career stage and seniority level and ask the tough questions. Your career is your life. It is what you do for a living. It needs to be on the right track every year.