After my intensely personal post reflecting on my past year, I realized how important it was to also look at your career and what you want to do. Here are some great ways to reflect on this past year in order to set goals for the next year!
Big Projects: What were the “big” project(s) that you worked on? List them out, and everything you had to do for them.
Extra Tasks: What did you take on this year in your role? What did you do aside from the “assigned” duties at your job? Write these down as well!
Positive Feedback: What kind of feedback did you receive this year? It could be in passing or more formally. Even if you didn’t feel like you should act on it, right it down if you believe it was constructive.
Why do this? You should take time to remember and write down all of the amazing things you’ve done. It’s great for your resume, and for you to have on hand during a rough time.
Mistakes You Made: Don’t sit in a corner and get into a black hole, but prudently acknowledge your mistakes in the past year. Everyone makes them, and now that you’ve acknowledged them, write down how you corrected them or what you learned.
Time Wasters: What wasted your time? Did you add something you didn’t need to do, or find something that really sucks your time? Write that down. Sometimes being aware of it can help even just a little bit.
What You Wanted to Learn: Did you set out to look learn a new skill this year? Did you learn them? Why or why not? What stood in your way? Don’t beat yourself up, rather be rational and honest as to why you didn’t accomplish something. (If you get discouraged, look at everything you accomplished from the previous section)
Looking at what you did wrong can be one of the best ways to move forward. It gives you an idea of where you should go next.
Do You Enjoy Where You Are?: This may be a simple question, but it’s important. Do you want to grow where you are or seek something new? If you enjoy where you are, think about what you can do next to grow. If you don’t, look at what your possible next steps
Everything You’ve Learned: Maybe like me and you’ve realized you need to speak up for yourself more. Maybe you’ve learned that you need to get to know your co-workers a little better, or work on being more positive with your clients. Did you learn that you perform well in high-pressure environments? How about what kind of culture that you like? That’s good, and you should write down these lessons to look at next year.
What to Do With Your Lists & Answers
There are a couple of things that you can do with these lists and answers for next year.
- Update Your Resume: Even if you’re not intending to job search next year, update your resume with your new found skills and accomplishments that your reflection yielded.
- Create Goals: Call them resolutions, goals or benchmarks, but create whatever you want to help set yourself in the right direction this year. Look at everything and pick out one to three things to create into goals for next year.
- Make Actionable Items: Instead of broad goals, look at smaller actionable items that you can do from the list above. Maybe it’s continuing habits that you already have, or trying to start new habits. It can be reaching out to clients, or saying that you’ll ask three new people a week how they’re doing and have a conversation.
- Do nothing: Hear me out, this seems lazy but it’s really not! After doing this reflection you’re automatically more self-aware. If this is all you feel that you need to move forward that’s totally okay.
How do you try to end your year? What did you accomplish this year? What other types of reflection do you like to do? Let me know in the comments below!