End of year performance reviews...it's a process that many employees dread. In a lot of companies, setting goals and assessing progress on those goals occurs as a "check-box exercise".
While it's true that there may be very little guidance to help you set meaningful goals, the real missed opportunity is in not taking ownership of managing your career. One of my most memorable coaches was famous for saying "Be the CEO of YOU". I'd never considered this concept before AND I never forgot it.
What if you look at your life as you would a business? You are the CEO of your life and you get to decide how you want to develop it, run it and the impact you want it to have. You get to be in the C-suite and this responsibility includes directing your career.
How often do you check-in and reflect on your career? Are you actively engaged in managing it and charting your course or are you simply living and working on the default setting?
I encourage you to be proactive (rather than reactive) as it relates to your career. What are your reasons for doing the work that you do? Whether you're employed or self-employed, are your core values a match for the values of the company that you work for? If you had to choose all over again, would you choose the work that you're doing?
It is definitely worth the time and energy to pause and reflect on your career. Where are you now? Where do you want to be in the next 1-10 years? Are you moving in that general direction or have you wandered off track?
Keep in mind that what you wanted at the start of your career may not be what you want at this stage of your life. Your career can be a vehicle for growth. Professional development is more than just continuing education credits. It should support the goals you've set for yourself and allow you to stay engaged and excited about your work.
But, the temptation is to stay comfortable. With growth comes change and that usually means some level of discomfort is required. Stretching and growing when faced with welcome and unwelcome challenges can lead to developing new skills and reimagining your career.
If you've set your career development to autopilot, it's time to get behind the wheel and decide where it is you want to go. Don't worry if your immediate answer is I don't know.
I suggest starting with a blank piece of paper and a pen and jot down what's important to you about work. What natural strengths and talents do you have that you can leverage within your career? What elements of your current work bring you joy? What consistent positive feedback do you get from others that may provide some insight into the value you contribute to the workplace?
For example, I've noticed that the words "approachable" and "calm" are often used by my peers and customers to describe me. This was true in both my former and current organizations. I now claim my ability to help others feel a sense of calm as one of my superpowers.
Once you have a better sense of what you want, write down 1-3 goals that you want to pursue that will move you in the direction of your ultimate career goals. Then, create a ritual where you conduct a quarterly review to evaluate your progress. Bonus points for scheduling a monthly check-in to celebrate mini-milestones you've hit along the way.
I think this is a topic that isn't talked about enough, especially for professional women. If this is an area that you'd like to learn more about (future articles with practical tips, strategies and resources), let me know in the comments below or send me a note at Michelle@drmichellebailey.com.
The Physician Career Path Reimagined
www.drmichellebailey.com. All Rights Reserved.