Refresh your Career – plan a summer review

It’s nearly the end of June – wow! How did that happen? Before you disappear on your holidays make some time for a quick career review. Check in on what you’ve achieved so far this year and celebrate what’s gone well (maybe with a glass of fizz or a slice of cake!). Then think about the next 6 months – what do you need to refresh or tweak to keep your career aims on track?

Don’t feel you have time to stop and think about your career?  How long do you need? 5 – 10 minutes reflection time can be really powerful.

What does a mini-career review involve?

My 5 minute career review will give you chance to take a moment for reflection, ask yourself some searching questions and refocus your energy for the rest of the year.

Firstly find some quiet space where you won’t be disturbed, maybe think about being somewhere different such as your garden and grab a notebook and a pen, and then we’re ready.

Reconnect to the career goal you set yourself at the beginning of the year (if you didn’t get round to setting any career goals this year read my blog on Why you need a road map for your career and use this opportunity to identify your career goals) and answer the following questions – make a note of your answers:

  • What has gone well in my career in the last 6 months?
  • What could have gone better?
  • What have I learnt in that time both personally and professionally?
  • Who have I enjoyed working with and why?
  • What still needs to happen?

The last question is really important as it gives you chance to focus on the next 6 months and what you need to do to realise your career goal whether that is changing careers or jobs, getting promotion or working on some new projects.

How to get motivated

  • Don’t get hung up on a SMART goal (they can make it a bit dull) instead phrase your goal in a way that is clear and motivating for you. Focusing towards something usually works best, for example ‘I want to be in a challenging more senior role in a larger company where I can learn x skills by the end of the year’. If you find yourself phrasing it in ‘away from’ style for example, ‘I don’t want to be in the same job next year’ try and turn it into something more motivating such as ‘ I want to be in a vibrant and dynamic new company where I can look forward to going to work’.
  • Keep your goal alive. Find what works for you but consider whether an image, a word, screensaver can represent your goal and keep it active and in your line of sight. So often we set a goal and then it gathers dust in a drawer – you need to be able to tap into it’s motivating energy on a regular basis. Or use futureme.org to send yourself regular reminder emails to keep you on track.
  • Celebrate what you have done – yes, give yourself a pat on the back and a reward. Don’t focus on on what you haven’t done yet.
  • Develop a motivation mindset. Check in on your self belief – do you feel you can achieve your goal or do you have doubts creeping in? Identify any blocks and think about how you can overcome them. I like to write them down and develop a strategy for each one to stop it circulating in my head! If you need some help overcoming your doubts and your inner critic have a look at my book Developing your Inner Coach.
  • Find an accountability buddy. Staying on track can be the hardest thing if you feel there is no accountability so sharing this by reporting in and updating on progress can be really useful at making you get on with it. I run a monthly Accountability and Motivation programme for clients and they have found it incredibly helpful. If this is something you feel would make all the difference do get in touch.

Don’t just drift in your career, take control and use today as your motivation to stop, reflect and plan.

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Photo courtesy of Annie [email protected]

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