How often do you perform a career reflection? In the Targeted Job Search, I suggest that you plan to do this twice a year. There are two special times of year to perform a career reflection:
- July 4th holiday
- New Years
These two times are approximately 6 months apart and most of us have the time off from work.
Did you achieve your goals over the last six months?
If not, what is to be learned?
I set goals for this website and increased traffic. Starting in February, LinkedIn began instituting major changes that reduced the traffic by 90%. In June, website traffic had been restored to previous levels, which is about seven thousand visitors a month.
What did I learn? I must always have a Plan B.
This is a good time to put an entry in your calendar for six months from now. Create goals for the next six months and write them in your calendar.
Reflect back over the last six months:
- What did you accomplish? Make note of quantifiable accomplishments.
- What new skills did you acquire? What can you do now that you could not do six months ago?
- What did you learn about yourself? This is a great time to take notice of what is important in our lives. It is easy to focus on others and not ourselves. At least this is true for me!
In the last six months, I had my first paid speaking engagement outside of Austin. My presentation titled “The Multi-Generational Workplace – Why Can’t We All Get Along” has been in hot demand.
Spend some time and clearly document your accomplishments, new skills, and lessons learned and file this away to be reviewed in six months.
Time to Update
Once you have completed your career reflection, it is time to update your LinkedIn profile and your resume! Updating your LinkedIn profile and resume should be a regular habit. You never know what will happen in the next six months. Besides, you want to be a good passive candidate with updated information in your LinkedIn profile.
It is also a great time to update your target list.
Who do you want to work for next? This does not mean you will be changing jobs, but you want to be ready!
Spend time researching perspective companies, as well as your connections into those companies. Who do you know or who can make an introduction to a strategic individual? Remember, when you meet a strategic connection, you will be Asking for AIR – Advice, Insights and Recommendations!
If you have been in your position over two years, I suggest you actively work your target list. With the median duration of employment at just over five years, you should plan on staying in a job less than that and allow eighteen months for a passive job search.
If you are willing to perform a career reflection exercise twice a year, document your results, and update your resume, LinkedIn profile, and target list, you will always be ready for the next step in your career.
Are you ready?