End of Year Reflections for the Career Minded
Today I had the tremendous pleasure of being guest career expert on the At Your Service, Job Centre segment of Nationwide News Network (Nationwide News 90FM). I was discussing with co-hosts Vernon Darby & Kristen Williams, questions that professionals can use for their evaluation of the past year. This with a view to identifying gaps to be addressed, as well as what worked very well, and which could be maintained, in order to have an even better New Year. Below I share my speaking notes. There is also a handout you may download to help your personal reflections. Hope you find this information helpful.
- For each question give yourself a rating out of 10, with 1 being the lowest satisfaction rating and 10 being your highest satisfaction rating.
- For the questions that you rated as 10/10, analyze and write down what contributed to making your life work well in this area. Commit to keep doing more of those strategies in 2016
- For the questions that you don’t give a 10/10 satisfaction rating, analyze and write down what went well and what was missing in your experience that prevented you from having full satisfaction.
- Brainstorm what one (1) action you can take to improve your score at least by 1 point.
- Create a goal with a deadline to address the gaps you identified
- Take action
- Overall, note what you are especially proud of over the past year and find a way to acknowledge and honour yourself by celebrating in a small or big way with an activity that makes you happy.
- Note who &/or what you need to let go of and release to live a more happy and productive life in the New Year.
- Take action
- How well did I remain connected to my values in the significant areas of my life? [ / 10]
Values are our deeply held beliefs with regard to how things should be in the various significant areas of our lives (i.e. Self, Family, Love Relationships, Career, Finances, God, Friendship, Fun & Leisure). It is our Why we do what we do. When our values are violated, or we make choices that are contrary to our values, it negatively impacts our emotions, increases our sense of being stressed, and may affect our self-worth and self-confidence.
- What is the overall state of my health, physical and mental? [ / 10]
We live in an increasingly stressful and fear-filled world, with daily personal problems, as well as financial challenges from an ongoing global recession. There are daily reports of job losses, disease epidemics, natural disasters, crime, violence, wars and terrorist attacks. Persons with good health are better able to withstand stressors than persons who have known or unknown health problems. In order to maintain good health, our body needs consistent good nutrition, adequate rest, adequate exercise, and fun & relaxation activities.
- What is the quality of my personal relationships and professional relationships? [ / 10]
There is strength in numbers. When we operate alone, life can be burdensome. It is important to have relationships with safe people both among family & friends, as well as professionally. Safe people are those persons who live with integrity, speak the truth to you with goodwill and who challenge you to build you up and not tear you down.
Good interpersonal skills will increase our likability and influence with the people in our personal and professional environments. When we are in frequent conflict with our family and friends, it negatively affects our emotions, and impacts our professional relationships and performance.
The more people we know and enjoy good relationships with and who share our common interests, the more quality information that we receive about opportunities that will enhance our lives. Which is why professional networking is so important for the professional who wants to increase employability and competitiveness within his/her industry and job market.
- What value did I add to my [current / last] company? [ / 10]
Whether currently employed or job hunting, it is important to know the significance of your job within the organizational structure of your current/last company, and also to be able to quantify your overall contribution to your department, unit, and organization. Your ability to quantify your contribution, boosts your self-confidence, helps you negotiate for increased benefits, improves the value and magnetism of your resume, and helps you express yourself confidently in interviews when pursuing other job or scholarship opportunities.
- What is my resilience against job loss? [ / 10]
Generally if you have a job you can lose a job. However with the current state of the local and global economy, more professionals are at greater risk of job loss. You should accept this upfront and take action from now to
- Curtail spending and establish an emergency fund of 6 – 12 months of monthly income to cushion you, in case you have to suddenly job hunt
- Keep updated with industry and labour market news, and analyze the job-outlook for your particular job or industry. Is it poised for growth or will it slow down?
- Acquire any skills that will keep you competitive in your profession &/or industry as well as in an alternative profession, so that you increase your job hunting options
- Determine how the market is responding to your resume
or if already unemployed or you desire to switch jobs or careers for improved income
How robust is my job search strategy (online, offline, social media use, strong network)?
[ / 10]
Beyond responding to advertisements in print and online as a traditional job search method, how well are you incorporating
- Social Media – Mastering the top social media platforms that support job hunting and professional development? Creating a professional profile online which enables recruiters to research you and form a positive impression of how well you will fit their company’s culture? Joining groups online and participating by sharing original content and liking and commenting and asking questions of other group members consistently so that persons get a feel of you and feel connected to you over time?
- Networking – strategically going through your list of contacts, sharing with them your job search objectives and intentionally asking them if they know of any opportunities, and if they would be comfortable submitting a resume on your behalf?
- Identifying alternative forms of employment e.g. Small business ventures or freelance work online or offline?
- Preparing well crafted, error free versions of your resume which target the specific job you are applying for [Not a one-size-fits-all resume], and which highlights your achievements instead of your tasks.
- Knowledge of a variety of types of interview questions and being prepared to give impactful answers
- Strategies to keep yourself motivated and upbeat throughout your job hunting period and prevent discouragement and depression in the event that your job hunt goes longer than you hoped (e.g. reading for personal & professional development, volunteering, exercising, enjoyable activities with low budget)?
- Ask yourself the questions, give yourself a satisfaction rating, and note your answers on what went well and what you need to improve in each area
- Note what you are most proud of and celebrate
- Note what you need to work on and create an action plan
- Note who &/or what you need to let go of and release
- Take action
- Be committed to paying the price to have a better life and work experience in 2016
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Coach Cheryll Messam, CPC, ELI-MP, is a Certified Professional Life & Corporate Coach, Resume Writer, LinkedIn Profile Writer, and owner of YOU in Mind Jamaica, a personal and professional development company. Coach Cheryll helps local and international clients look their best on paper via professionally written resumes and LinkedIN profiles. Through consultations or coaching sessions Cheryll helps her clients overcome their workplace, career management, job search, productivity, self-confidence and goal setting challenges.
Cheryll Messam, CPC, ELI-MP
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You in Mind Jamaica – Your Ally for Excellence in Life & Work
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