As the end of the calendar year approaches, the focus shifts to the “season of giving” and also planning ahead for the new year. With each new year comes opportunities and the old adage of a “new year, a new you” is often used widely by many marketing companies. But before planning ahead and thinking about progress, first it’s time to reflect on the year that has passed. Why is it important to take this step before marching forwards you ask? Well….let’s take a look!
Career Reflections – A waste of time!
Most people that don’t fulfil their potential within a career, blame this on external factors. Perhaps the market doesn’t have the right opportunities. Perhaps the competition is too tough. Perhaps it is not the right time?
If all those factors are true then what is the point of reflecting when external factors will go against you so much.
The above considerations are often valid, but it is also the pitfall that the majority fall into.
At no time in human history has there ever been so much opportunity for career progression. This is based on fact.
Reflecting on your career to date including most importantly the last 12 months will help you determine whether the right career principles are in place. Are you motivated? Are you empowered? Are you valued? Are you happy? Are you paid fairly? Is there room for progression?
If the answer is no or maybe to any of these reflective questions then you could argue that given the amount of external opportunity there is out there then it is an absolutely key time to reflect to enable you to strategize and move forward effectively.
Career Reflections – We do not learn from experience, we learn from reflections
When changing careers, a key element is understanding your story that you wish to articulate to your audience and how you present it.
A well known interview model is the STAR model. For Situation, Task, Action, Result.
A very useful and basic model for answering competency based questions
However, if you add an extra R and include the reflections of your story this can add an extra angle that can impress an interviewer. It shows maturity, the desire to continually improve and the ability to reflect and evaluate no matter how good or bad a piece of experience has been.
For example. Give me an example of a time when you have dealt with difficult stakeholders.
S – Once there was a desire to write a blog for people to help them think about how to get ahead when embracing a new year.
T – I therefore decided to write a blog to seek to add some value
A – I created a blog and posted it online
R- The result was that it got good engagement and I received some feedback that it made a difference to people
R – Perhaps if I had lengthened the blog or turned it into a video, the engagement and value add may have increased.
You see, we can always improve upon any action we take!
Career Reflections – The Career Timeline and The Four 20’s
You may find looking at a year in isolation difficult. In that case, zoom out on our career timeline.
They say the first 20 years of life are about Caution. Don’t do anything that will hold you back.
The next 20 years are Career. Get really good at something.
The following 20 years are about creativity. Innovate and turn that experience into something great.
The next 20 years are about Community. Take the knowledge and experience and give something back.
Do the 4 C’s work for you? If they do, are you on track according to that timeline?
Perhaps do your own holistic career reflection and consider where you need to be in order to successfully move through to the next phase.
To get some complimentary tips on how best to approach your boss depending upon your sector, current context and even their psychometrics, then message us with the codeword “CareershipsTips” and you will get a real golden nugget specifically for your next pay rise conversation or plan.
We hope you enjoyed our article. If you have mastered all of the above and want to really understand how to put your best foot forward in your career, get in touch with our CEO Richard Edge for a complimentary consultation.
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