Reflecting is a critical component to growth. I find that the actual learning from experiences will not surface unless I create the space to reflect, which is why I’m carving out two entire mornings at my local coffee shop to do just that. The first morning I’ll be doing a year-in-review for myself and thinking about 2015 as a whole.
Here are three questions I’ll be asking myself on that morning:
- Did I add at least two bullet points to my resume?
As I think about what industries, jobs, and working arrangements will exist for our generation in our 50’s and 60’s, I find it’s nearly impossible to predict. Because of this, the only things that are worth betting on and continually investing in are our skills and relationships with others. If you are frequently investing in these areas you are guaranteed to see solid returns in your career. When it comes to skill building, a good indicator of growth is adding a new bullet to your resume every six months. If this is not happening, chances are you’re not learning and may be just maintaining status quo.
- Which relationships did I invest in throughout 2015?
I will be writing down: a list of the people that I got to know better over the past year, what I learned from said people, and which relationships I want to continue developing in 2016. Relationship building and true networking is about finding ways to invest in others. The benefits from this approach are tenfold rather than networking with the intent of receiving. Having the mentality of discovering ways to help others with their career goals takes a lot of the pressure off from that big bad ugly task of “networking”.
- What was the theme from this year?
I have been “theming” my years for the past five years. I do this after the year is done as a way to reflect on the learnings on the whole, rather than theming at the beginning of the year with the intent to set goals (I do that in other ways). One year was a Year of Growth, where I was learning a lot and felt out of my comfort zone (in a good way) in essentially everything I did at work. Another year was a Year of Change, where I was reacting to a lot of changes and trying to learn along the way. I’ll be calling 2015 the Year of New, as everything I did was new to me – including becoming a mom and starting a business.
My second “set aside” morning will be answering the Three Questions I’ll Ask Myself on January 1. Stay tuned.