How to Make Sure You’re on Track: An Assessment
June 6, 2022
The journey to finding a job and career you love can feel like a long one. How are things going? Answering that question is something that we don’t do enough of. While I’m writing this at the half-year point (hello, June!), there’s never a wrong time to stop and assess your progress.
First, it can confirm that you are still headed in the right direction. In this busy and distracting world, it’s easy to fall off track and wander away. Reviewing your progress can help you make sure you’re still on track and, if you aren’t, make the necessary corrections that will save you time and effort.
Second, I like to use these to celebrate how far you’ve come. An assessment, or as I like to think of it – an Accomplishment Review! – can bolster your energy and refresh your focus.
Are you ready? Grab a piece of paper… here we go!
PART I: IDENTIFY
- Identify all the steps you took over the last six months to move yourself towards your goal.
These should be fresh in your mind so you can remember the details. List them out so you can see what you’ve accomplished!
- Identify any problems you experienced. Think of these as PARs (Problem, Action, Result) and capture them in that way. It’s important for you to not just see the problems you experienced, but also what you did about them and what happened as a result. These may be problems along your journey to building your career; they can also be problems you solved at work. It’s important to note those for future interviews!
- Identify any skills that you developed or strengthened. Consider both functional skills (head) and soft skills (heart). How have these skills contributed to your success? How have they added value to your team or organization?
PART II: EVALUATE
- Consider your work relationships with your colleagues, team members and, most importantly, your relationship with your boss. Has there been any conflict that you have not resolved? Are there relationships that you want to strengthen because they can help you achieve some of your career goals or they have a great network that you would love to get to know. Do they know of your talents and career aspirations?
- Evaluate how strong your network outside the company is. Have you been meeting with existing contacts regularly to stay connected? How many new contacts have you made in the last six months? Your network can be your powerhouse for finding your next role, but you have to keep it warm if you want to leverage it when you need it.
- Check in with your values. Are you following a path that you believe in? Are you maintaining clear boundaries? Have boundaries been crossed and you need to have a conversation with the person who might be unaware they are important to you?
- Are you clear about where you want to go? And if so, are you clear on what you need to advance in the direction you envision for yourself? Is your manager aware of what you need to help you in your career? If not, now is a good time to schedule a meeting with them to discuss your plans and any support that they may be able to provide.
Taking time now to assess where you are with your career goals gives you the chance to adjust before you get too far off track.
Work situations change, management changes, and you might have changed, too! Paying attention to what you have achieved and what you need to do to continue to develop will keep you marketable and prepared for pursuing new opportunities when they arise.
Where do you want to go in your career?
Use this guide to create your own career path. You can choose your own adventure.