We have an annual check-up for our personal health, and in some situations, it is a bi-annual check-up.
You would have an annual visit to the dentist, even if you have no immediate dental problems. This is seen as good practice. It is even celebrated when you achieve consistency.
Well done you!
So, you might own a car, well, you most likely have a 6 monthly and yearly check-up for that… you organise an oil change every 6 months and a yearly roadworthiness test such as an M.O.T?
Your company might want you to do some annual policy check-up and do some further training so they can meet the needs that provide them with legal protection.
The company might even have a formal annual check up on you in the guise of an annual appraisal… most likely linked to your incremental pay rise as dictated by the organisation.
Your bank manager might call you in for a yearly review. You might review your mortgage regularly and look for another option to maximise your asset.
We do so many check up’s or even check in’s…
But how often do we do a ‘Career check-up’?
When was the last time you took stock of your career situation, and why do we not do this regularly?
Have you ever stopped to do a robust career check-up?
I don’t mean, a moan and a grump at the turn of the New Year where you make some weak promises to find another job… only to find yourself still chained to the position that you are in now.
The next New Year is hurtling towards you but you have nothing new on the horizon and the dissatisfaction is still brimming over in your every thought.
When was the last time you had a good look at your ‘career’ or what it is that you really want to do?
What would be the optimal schedule for doing a well thought out career checkup?
Would it be every 6 months or at least, as a minimum, every year?
How would you even start such a process and who would support you with this?
What is the cost of a service?
Does it need to be a service you purchase?
Sounds like I am trying to sell you something here, but I am not.
I am just curious about why this idea isn’t in our psyche yet… why we do not actively review our career, in the same way, we might do our health or teeth or our car check-up for that matter.
We don’t do this. But I would pitch it to you that you should. You must. It has to be a requirement that you set for yourself like you would your dentist appointment.
What should I do then?
You should set a regular calendar appointment with yourself. If you can, arrange it with you and another person that you would allow to throw some questions at you. Set the date as a reoccurring appointment every six months.
Now, organise questions that you need to ask yourself.
Structure your questions around the following topics…
- Your working environment.
- Your job satisfaction.
- Your leader or boss.
- Your development.
- Your career goals.
- Your current performance.
- Your aligned next step.
- Your own timeline
- Your company’s timeline
- Your overall satisfaction
Take the topics in the above list and set yourself 3 questions under each.
This is your plan of the questions.
You are going to have to do some work.
The added benefit here is in the process of getting to the questions that you want to ask yourself.
They should be your own personal questions.
Your own design.
Write out 3 questions under each heading, which will set you up with thirty questions to get answers for.
You can work on aspirational questions, process or functional questions. Questions that you want to ask about.
You can keep it simple – ask about your happiness under a specific topic or even add more complexity to your questions…
‘Is my social media footprint an accurate representation of my career experience, professionalism, my talents, skills, and abilities?’
The questions that you ask are yours and yours alone.
Once you are happy with your thirty questions, now type them up onto a document and leaving three lines for you to write on under each question.
No more, no less.
You now have…
Spread evenly over 10 topics and under each question you have left a space for your reply.
3 lines for your reply. Use all three lines when you answer.
No more, no less.
You now have a nice piece of work.
Ok, Print it off.
Now put it in a nice folder…
And put it away in a drawer in your desk.
Your next task.
Set aside two hours next week, enter this time in your calendar and protect it with your life.
When that time comes.
Answer your questions as openly and honestly as you can and then after you complete this final task, ask yourself…
What is next?
Is the answer…
A. More of the same.
C. None of the above.
Only YOU will know the answer to the ultimate question.