5 key questions for your DIY year-end career review

Year-end checklistMany people take the time each December to review progress on their year’s personal, health, and financial goals. It’s also a great time to conduct a year-end career review.

Whether you had a job, lost a job, or changed jobs in 2016, you can easily complete a quick year-end assessment of your career, using the five questions below.

If you had a year-end performance review at your job, you can use that as a starting point. But a career review is much more than an assessment of your job performance: it takes into account your lifelong career path as well as your long- and short-term career goals. Get started by thinking about these five questions:

1. What were your career highlights (or lowlights) this year?

Depending on where you are in your career, you can include large or small milestones. Some examples include:

  • Started a new job
  • Assumed new responsibilities in your current job
  • Completed a big project
  • Got laid off
  • Received a promotion or salary increase
  • Completed a training course or certification

2. What worked well?

Here’s a chance to dive deeper into the items on your list of high- or lowlights. Think about these aspects of your career:

3. What didn’t work out as planned?

Now, take the time to identify what didn’t go so well.  If you did write out career goals for 2016, you can use that list to identify what you achieved and didn’t achieve.  If you don’t have a list, think about whether you:

  • Didn’t go back to school or enroll in a training program you wanted to start
  • Didn’t begin or follow through on a planned job search
  • Didn’t talk to a supervisor or co-worker about something you needed to address

4. What are you going to do next year to move toward your career goals?

Here’s where you can get a head-start on 2017: Write out a list of career goals for the coming year.

5. What is—and when will you get started on—your first step for next year’s goals?

Before you wrap up your review, take the time to identify a specific action your’e going to take—and give yourself a deadline for making a phone call, networking, beginning a job search, or exploring new career or training options.

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