Make Smart Career Moves

For many, staying on their current path is easier than mustering the will and energy to take control. But if you spend a little time thinking about this past year, you may find new opportunities for a new role, more money, or a new opportunity that you wouldn’t have thought of before.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to begin the process…

  1. Am I on a career path that I feel brings out the best in me?
  2. What are my strengths? Have I uncovered any new strengths this year?
  3. What’s the best part of my job? How can I find ways to do more of this and less of the work I don’t like or am not as good at?
  4. Do I have the work-life balance I want?
  5. What is missing for me right now?
  6. What one problem am I always trying to solve?
  7. If one amazing thing could happen to me this coming year, what would it be? (No boundaries!) How can I make it happen? Even a small component of that amazing thing?

Some resources that you can tap to enhance this process…

Ask your friends, your partner, your family what they see as your greatest strengths. What do they find as most valuable in you and your relationship with them?

Think about those things. How do they relate to your job? Do the same strengths that show at work also show in your personal life? What can you learn from personal you that can positively bleed into professional you? What about vice versa?

Find a coach or mentor to discuss your ideas with. Bouncing ideas off of someone that you trust helps build excitement, and uncover new ideas and approaches you may not have thought of before.

Take a personality assessment. Learn something new about yourself by taking a personality assessment like Myers-Briggs, Gallup’s Strengths Finder, the DiSC assessment or Prevue. All are great assessments that may provide insight into who you are and how you interact with others. (Your employer may pay for you to take one of these, or reach out to a colleague or friend who may have access to an assessment.)

Most importantly…

Write it all down and put it in a place that you will go back to it next year around this time. If you’ve never gone through this process before, think about all of your past work and life experiences. Answer the questions above with your complete history in mind. This then becomes your starting point. Make this an annual process that uses current data to enable smart and informed course-correcting decisions for your future.

Making big career and life decisions become much easier when you know your past, know yourself and have a good idea of where you’d like to go.

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