Year End Career Assessment

Posted by Judy Anne Cavey on Dec 28, 2011 in , , | No Comments

2012 is around the corner–perfect time to assess where you are on your path.

Students, should you re-think that major? Grads, should you take classes or workshops designed to bump up skills important to your career? Or possibly mull over relocation to an area with more to offer?

This new year, take the opportunity to investigate what would make you more marketable.

Strengths and Weaknesses

It’s important to be completely honest with yourself in this assessment about what strengths and weaknesses you possess.

Review suggestions mentors or supervisors have given in the past to improve areas where you fell short. Ask yourself: what duties are boring, environments or people drain energy, and what parts you actually hate. Make a complete list, because knowing what drags you down will come in handy in addressing weaknesses.

If your list points to weaknesses in completing paperwork because you hate spending hours bent over your desk looking at numbers on a report, consider something more energizing. Discuss with your supervisor how you might trade out some of that work for duties which get you away from your desk for a while. Perhaps while looking over that paperwork, you’ve discovered common errors. Volunteer to attend meetings with those generating the work and offer suggestions to cut down on those errors.

Look at strengths, are you utilizing them to your full advantage–and benefiting the company? If you’re a great teacher or mentor, ask how you may be involved in the internship program at your company.

Network, Network, Network

Focusing too much effort online with contacts isn’t advised. Younger job seekers and job changers usually network a great deal online, and too little offline, while the older set do just the opposite. Neither way is conducive to complete networking. Learn to do both well.

Also, blogging about areas within your expertise is an excellent way to network with those in your field. With online connections, try to set up face-to-face meetings to take networking to the next level. Meeting someone in person opens up new doors–you’re both now “human”, instead of words on a computer screen, making your business relationship more personal. The day of the meeting, be sure to dress for success–even if it’s not an interview–dress as if it is because first impressions are everything.

The Fear Factor

Switching a major, losing a job, or being in chronic unemployment conjures up a great deal of fear. But face it, move forward! Some people stuff it down deep and decide to stay where they are, never stepping out to explore what possibilities are beyond their fears. Being a mature adult means taking control of your fears and conquering them.

Use fear to fuel your fire instead of letting it defeat you. Don’t allow the idea of failure to stop you, failure is how people learn. The most successful people on earth have failed many times. So what sets them apart? They’ve picked themselves up and continued. Failure is disappointing, sometimes costly, and even embarrassing–so what? Everyone has failed at something in life. Failure teaches great life lessons probably not learned any other way. Failure can point you in the right direction, since failure may have occurred because you were going in the wrong one.

In your assessment, think about past failures. You survived, right? And probably learned a few good lessons too, correct? Keep that in mind when setting out on a new adventure–a first job, or finding a job after being unemployed for months. Step out boldly, with confidence and hope. Even if you meet up with trolls, don’t let them detour you!

Make a Good Plan

I recently read one experts opinion on why so many people fail at what they do–they don’t make a good plan. If you’re one of those people who believes they don’t need to plan, maybe it’s time to change that approach. People don’t reach goals on good intentions or wishful thinking.

Relocation for example, requires good planning: a move is a major expense and emotional transition. It’s not only about packing boxes and changing an address, it much more. Researching an area of consideration for livability, jobs, and affordable housing is essential. I’ve written detailed posts about relocation, please read them carefully. See the site JustMoved to help in your adjustment once relocation takes place. Remember, the better you plan, the easier your relocation will be on everyone.

Making good plans requires the following: keeping things organized, writing careful to-do lists, gathering good information and learning from dependable resources. Test the waters, talk to experts and those who have experience, keep your cool, consider the pros and cons and everyone who will be affected.

Final Thoughts

Don’t think of your assessment as difficult or a drag, turn it into a time of discovery! You’ll be surprised at what you learn about yourself and how you can make life more fulfilling.

If you found this blog interesting or helpful, “likes”, re-tweets and sharing are appreciated!