Developing a career strategy
Vacations shouldn’t be the only things you plan at the end of the year as it’s the best time to review your career. If you’ve done a performance review with your manager, then you’ve done some parts of your career review and you can start from there but that’s not enough. A career review is something you should do for yourself, not your company, take ownership of your career path and plan what you want to achieve in your career.
WHAT IS A CAREER REVIEW?
A Career Review is an opportunity for you to take stock of your career progression over the past year, consider what went well, what you accomplished, and what could have been done better, and then make a strategy for what you want to do in your professional life in the next year. Unlike the performance review with your manager/employer, a career review focuses on how you assess yourself.
WHY IS A CAREER REVIEW IMPORTANT?
A career review allows you to examine what you’ve achieved in your professional life in 2022 and determine where you want to take it in the coming year. It allows you to not only review your current position but also allows you to manage action plans that help you progress with your career regardless of your profession.
HOW DO YOU DO A CAREER REVIEW?
In contrast to the evaluation of your work performance that takes place at your place of employment, the objective is that you reflect on your career is your current job stretching you enough and making the best use of your skills and talents. The end of year is an excellent time and opportunity to take stock of your current position, and what you’ve done, and formulate plans. Let’s learn further how you can do a career review.
REVIEW YOUR CAREER GOALS
The majority of working adults have goals for their professional careers, such as increasing their salary, seniority of their position or improving their work-life balance. To ensure you are successful in your work and avoid obstacles or factors that could distract or hold you back, reviewing your career goals is very important. You can use these questions:
- What are my career goals?
- Have I reached my career goals?
- What skills have I learnt during the last year?
- What skills are in demand in the market?
- Am I being paid the market rate for the job?
- I am up to date professionally.
- Does my current position satisfy me? If not, what is missing?
- In the year gone by, are there things that changed my life that affect my work-life balance?
- How can I refocus my career goals for the next year?
REVIEW YOUR PROGRESS TOWARDS YOUR CAREER GOALS
January is the best time to list what you’ve done in the past year. In this section, you should detail your professional trajectory and highlight major milestones of your career progress. Review all you’ve done over the last year, then try to answer these questions:
- Where do I stand now? Have I achieved all or some of my career goals this year?
- How did I progress? What have I learned? What do still need to do?
- How well did I take on new opportunities and challenges?
- What new hard/soft skills did I acquire?
- Have I improved from where I stood at the beginning of the year?
- Have my goals changed? If so what influenced those changes?
EVALUATE AND SUMMARISE YOUR CURRENT POSITION WITH YOUR CAREER GOALS
By reviewing your career goals and what you’ve achieved, ask yourself where you are now. Take stock of your professional life and assess where you’re currently standing at this point. Summarise your current progression by answering these questions:
- Based on the goals achieved, do I already stand at the desired point of my career progression?
- What things have improved or aided my career progression?
- To what extent do I enjoy working for my current company?
- Am I learning from my line manager and or colleagues?
- What are my current strengths and weaknesses?
VISUALIZE YOUR CAREER PATH
What is the next stage of your career that you need to achieve? Spend some time thinking and visualizing your career goals for the coming years, especially one year ahead. Here are some more questions to consider.
- What should I do more in my career?
- What should I do less in my career?
- What should I do next?
- What time frame should I aim for?
- What is my ideal job or profession? Do I want a promotion? Change company? Or fundamentally change career pathways?
ACTION PLANNING TO MOVE YOU TO THE NEXT STAGE OF YOUR CAREER
How do you plan on achieving your career goals over the next year? Create a list of your top career goals along with the actions/steps you will take during the year ahead. Which of these goals are you going to focus on? The list could include acquiring new specific skills, switching jobs/positions, changing the company, improving your professional branding, and attending courses, training, or gaining certifications in your field. You may answer these questions to map them:
- What skills or experience am I lacking to take me to the next stage in my career?
- Should I change employer or find another internally to get progress?
- Where should I put my focus to prepare for this next phase of my career?
SHARE/CONSULT YOUR CAREER GOALS AND PLANS
You need to assess how realistic your career goals and action planning are, as well as consider the practical implications. At this point, you can share your career planning with your mentor or consult with a professional career coach to hear their thoughts on your strategy and their suggestions for how to carry it out.
There’s no pressure carrying out a career review. Time spent in self-reflection and planning will help you assess where you are now and where you want to be.
It’s highly recommended to take a moment to complete all six steps mentioned above and complete it one at a time since it’s that important for your career progression.
HOW CAN WE HELP?
At Total Career Solutions, we offer the expert, knowledge, experience, and insights on how to get your dream job. Book a free 15-minute consultation with our professional career consultants to learn more.