Auditing Your Career

The end of the year is always a busy time in our office. A lot of employment changes occur at the end of the year and a lot of business deals get closed. When you are in the midst of the whirlwind of wrapping up a year and celebrating the holidays, it is hard to set aside time for reviewing the past 12 months. However, before you start planning for next year, it is important to take inventory of where you are at and how you got there.

The same is true for every executive and professional. Before you start setting goals for the coming year (and beyond), you should take some time to review the following:

  1. Job Description. Sometimes we get so good at our job that we don’t even think about whether we are doing the job we were hired to do. Reviewing your job description can help you assess divergences between the job you were hired for and the job you are performing. We often gravitate towards work we enjoy, and it is possible that you really should be working in a different position, different department or even a different career.
  2. Completed Projects. Reviewing your past projects can give you some perspective on what you have accomplished, what was successful and what was not. It’s easy to forget all of the work you put into the year. Examining your work is the best way to be prepared for an annual review and salary negotiations. Knowing where you are ahead of the curve and where you may need some course corrections puts you in a better position to respond to both positive and negative feedback.
  3. Employment Agreements and Restrictive Covenants. If you have been with an organization long term, it is easy to forget about the documents you signed when the relationship started. Taking a few minutes to review your obligations (and those of your employer) allows you to assess your future either with or without your current employer.
  4. Resume and/or LinkedIn profile. Regardless of whether you are looking to make a move, reviewing and updating your resume and LinkedIn profile at least annually is essential. Not only do you get to be reminded of all your past achievements, but you can also catch all of the outdated (or inarticulate) information you may have previously included. LinkedIn has become the primary research source for prospective employers and clients. Updating your profile is not only a means of recording your accomplishments, but it also keeps your name in front of your contacts.
  5. You might be surprised at what you learn by looking back.