Pittsburgh — As seasons change, and winter is less than a month away, it’s a good time to reflect on and strategize about your professional growth. Career reflection is a great place to start.
Do you enjoy your current job? What skills does this position require? Does it challenge you enough? Do you feel motivated to do your work? Obviously, it is important to work a job that you love. If you feel burdened by going to work everyday and don’t feel motivated enough to keep up, it might be time to start looking at jobs elsewhere. You should also be challenged by your job — you should have the opportunity to develop new skills and strengths along the way.
Next, consider your career goals. Where do you see yourself in ten years? What’s the ultimate goal? The ultimate goal doesn’t have to be getting an executive position at a company or patenting your product — it can be simply finding something you love or giving back to your community. Taking the time to reflect on what you want out of your job (aside from the salary), can serve as motivation and help keep you on your feet.
Then comes planning. Is your current job aligned with this your ultimate goal? How do you go from where you are now to this goal? Research the path of those who have reached your dream position or even speak to them directly. List out detailed specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound (SMART) steps, and add progress checks in the middle.
Get your career plan reviewed by seniors and advisors with more experience. Studies show that something as simple as hanging these goals on your wall and reading them everyday makes you more likely to reach them. Do a routine evaluation on your current job, and make sure you are on track to reach your career goals without getting caught in the weeds.
Jiya Gupta is a freelance writer exploring Asian American racism and U.S. policy. She is a freshman at Carnegie Mellon University studying Business Administration and Computer Science. You can follow her on Instagram at @jiya.tfls.
Edited by NaTyshca Pickett