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In the Press

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

End-of-year Career Stocktake – look back, look forward, make plans

by Paul Murphy
End Of Year Career Stocktake

It’s the traditional period for looking back and contemplating the past, and trying to visualise what lies ahead. And there’s no better opportunity for applying the same reflective approach to one of the most important aspects of your life – your career. 

But unstructured ruminating isn’t going to get you very far. We’ve devised a more analytical way for you to channel your thinking, so that the New Year will bring you a better sense of career direction, and potentially more satisfaction from your work.

Step 1: Looking back

Concentrate on asking yourself three pertinent questions to direct your thoughts:

1. What have I achieved in my current role?

It’s a good idea to start with your achievements. They will spring to mind more readily, and beginning on a positive note means you won’t get discouraged. 

So think about your major projects in the last 12 months, or new strategies you may have been involved in. Which ones were you most proud of? What did you learn? 

2. What haven’t I done so well? 

Now it’s time to be honest. Not every year can have an uninterrupted forward momentum. What were your shortcomings or distractions, and which were the activities that didn’t see you giving the best of your ability? Use this information to highlight areas for improvement or training. 

3. Do I actually like my current role?

While your current job doesn’t need to be your dream role, is it fulfilling your professional and/or personal needs for this stage of your career? Does it energise you to get out of bed? Can you see it as a stepping stone to the next stage in your progress? 

Step 2: Looking forward

Now, three more questions to switch your focus from the past to the future:

1. What are my career goals?

Where do you visualise yourself at the end of your career? CEO of a leading organisation? General Manager? CTO? Practice Principal?

What about in 2-3 years time, as a milestone on the way to your end goal? Technical Claims Consultant? Principal Underwriter? Account Manager? Program Manager? Do you expect to succeed into this role with your current employer, or do you have somewhere else in mind?

It’s important to have a clear vision of your target and the steps needed to get there, to avoid a career deadlock resulting from a lack of direction. 

2. Does my current role align with my career goals?

This is the big one. If your current role is not advancing your career in the right direction, it may actually be hindering your progress. Perhaps you’re in the wrong field of work, or just with the wrong company. Your contribution may be going unnoticed in a giant corporation, whereas a smaller outfit might give you a chance to shine. Conversely, you may feel stifled by the lack of opportunities for career progression in a business with only a few employees.

3. Who can I talk to about this?

When you’ve given your career some serious thought during the holiday break, January will be the ideal time to find someone with whom you can discuss your aspirations and options. One of the best ways in which you can gain knowledge and insight into your options is by finding a career mentor within the industry. While they may not always have taken the exact road that you aspire to take in your career, a mentor can offer advice and wisdom to help you make decisions.

Can Ensure Recruitment help?

You may have a career mentor you could consult, but if you’re considering switching to a new role your mentor may be too close to your current employer, if not already employed there. If so, the team at Ensure Recruitment are here to help guide you. Get in touch today and find out how we can help you achieve your career aspirations and goals. 

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