Reflect on Your Career this Holiday Season

The holiday season isn’t just for relaxing with friends and family. Now that we’re on the brink of entering 2017, it’s a good time to reflect on the past year, what you have accomplished, and what you want to do next, career wise.

Reflect on 2016 to Prepare for a Better 2017

So this year, as you sip your eggnog and get ready to toast what was hopefully a successful and fulfilling year, take the time to think about your career and take stock of what went well and what didn’t.

Ask yourself the following questions.

Did you get a promotions or a raise?

This is one of the most obvious signs that you’re succeeding, career-wise. It’s a new milestone that not only you, but your peers, can see. Whether it’s in the form of a new title on your business card, a bigger paycheck or a larger corner office, it’s usually tangible. If it’s a promotion or a new title, put it on your resume before you forget.

Did you reach your goals?

Perhaps you had set goals for yourself. Maybe you wanted to get a certain number of sales, reach a certain number of visits on a website or improve your public speaking skills.

Whether they are professional or personal, goals are a fantastic way to learn and grow. Just don’t rest on your laurels once you have accomplished them. Keep challenging yourself by setting new goals.

If your year didn’t go well, what could have gone better?

Maybe you didn’t reach your personal sales goal. Perhaps you were passed over for promotion. Maybe you didn’t feel satisfied by your work.

It’s not a total loss. Things you consider to be failures can be turned into learning experiences. Think about what happened (or didn’t happen) and how the outcome could have been different.

What can you do next time? Could you prepare more for meetings so that you can participate more actively, take a course to improve your resume or be more active when taking on group projects?

Is your next goal what you truly want?

Life is short and we all have the same number of hours in a day.

Many people tend to be short-sighted when setting goals. They focus on money, promotions, a new vacation, or even a new gadget, without regard for how this could impact their future.

If you want to work as a manager five years from now, make sure you are on the track to becoming one. If you want to switch careers and be a veterinary technician, start taking the programs so you have the necessary training.

Whatever your goal is, you’ll want to be working on that trajectory.

Are you burnt out?

If you feel burnt out at your job, you need to figure out why.

Sometimes it’s just a matter of needing a break or a vacation. Other times, it means that you need a change of scenery, coworkers, or duties. The average person working today will have seven careers in his or her lifetime. You will spend 40 hours a day at your job. Make sure you are happy there.

Do your goals mesh with your personal life?

If you are working 70 hours a week, but want to start a family, you won’t be successful at either job. Sometimes, reaching a goal in one area means that you need to make sacrifices or concessions in another area. Figure out what is important to you, and make everything else secondary to it.

The end of the year or the holiday season is great time to take stock of how 2016 went. Parties and celebrations are great, but looking back on your life this year will add meaning to your year-end celebrations. If you’re feeling stressed, reflecting on what went well might even give you a reason to be grateful.