Your Monthly Career Check-up
It’s the beginning of a new year, a time filled with reflection and goal-setting. As we set intentions for the year ahead, one theme that keeps coming up with our clients is career growth— everyone wants it, but it looks different for each of us. While some are motivated by increased income, others feel rewarded by more influence or a different title. Some roles can take years to master, and others have you itching for change after a few short months.
Regardless of where you are in your career, it’s good practice to have one eye on the path ahead, a strong pulse on your needs, and some semblance of a plan. But how do you achieve this without getting overwhelmed? We’ve created a quick, painless monthly checklist for you! Read on to learn how to use our Monthly Career Check-up to explore and attain career growth in 2019 and beyond.
At the end of each month, carve out an hour of time to take yourself through these five steps— your future self will thank you!
“it’s good practice to have one eye on the path ahead, a strong pulse on your needs, and some semblance of a plan”
Check-in with yourself
First and most important on this list. Take a step back from the chaos of your daily work life, and ask yourself the tough questions: How are you doing? How do you feel about going into work everyday? Are you feeling stimulated or bored? Can you see yourself in this role for the long-term? Also, how is your company doing? Do you feel good about the longevity of the company and your role?
Maybe you’ll discover you love your job and your company, maybe this exercise will help you remember that frustrating conversation with your boss way back in the beginning of the month. Either way, it’s a great opportunity to check-in and assess what brings you joy in your professional life.
Update your “Brag Book”
What have you accomplished this month? Take a few minutes to write down any noteworthy accomplishments or updates to your job responsibilities. Keep a running list over time (ideally in the cloud so you can access it anytime, anywhere), and this will serve as the perfect content when it comes time to update your resume or create a case for your next promotion. By devoting a few minutes to this each month, you’ll prevent a work pile up and won’t be overwhelmed when it's time to job search.
Review and update your online persona
Does your LinkedIn profile reflect what you’re currently doing or looking for? Is your picture up-to-date? Have you connected with any new contacts online? Keeping your online profiles relevant will reinforce who you are and help you stay connected to your community. Keeping your information updated will also ensure that you can launch your next job search “incognito” and without a major LinkedIn overhaul.
Always keep learning
What is one thing you can you do in the month ahead to expand your horizons? Some ideas to get you started: seek out mentorship opportunities, read business books or join a book club, find a new industry-specific news round-up to read, deepen your know-how for a side passion/hustle (maybe this means taking a cooking class or learning a language), join a professional association or create one, or find a new way to volunteer. Whatever you decide to do, stick with it for at least a month!
Continuous learning keeps things fresh! Continued learning can help you stay in engaged and excited about your role and company, and can lead to professional development and growth in your current role. It can also open you up to new avenues to pursue in both your professional and personal life in case your check-in with yourself uncovers some discontentment.
Cultivate your community
Check In with your community — just because you don't need something from someone, doesn't mean you should not be engaged and active in your community. Congratulate an old coworker on their promotion you saw on LinkedIn, catch up with someone you haven't talked to in a while over the phone or coffee, or email friends/acquaintances an article you think they would find interesting.
Don’t forget - communities work at their best when there is reciprocity. You never know how your engagement in your community today will extend to when you are in career transition. And again, if your monthly check in with yourself uncovers that it might be time for a change, your community will be instrumental in supporting that change. More about community here: Discover the Power of Community.
That's it. You're all finished with your monthly career check-up, and on your way to a healthy, happy career in 2019! We'd love to hear how you use this and other tools to keep your work life and aspirations in sync, so message me to get the conversation going: firstname.lastname@example.org.