It’s Reflection Time
The end of a year is a great time to sit and reflect on what you have achieved over the last 12 months, and 2020 is probably more important than any other. 2020 was a new decade, and it wasn’t just a new chapter, it was a whole new book. From significant political changes, a global market crash, environmental disasters and, of course, a global pandemic.
It has been a time of massive change, and sometimes we are so absorbed in the now, we do not realise how far we have come on our journey. Looking back on the last year can be energising and inspiring if we stop seeing the pitfalls and obstacles that occurred and focus on the distance we have travelled. Even if we have found things challenging, we still will have learned new ways to cope, gained resilience and new skills.
The world has changed, and so have you!
We get so embroiled in the day-to-day and where we are going that sometimes we forget to look back and see how far we have come. We could focus on the things we don’t have rather than the things we do and the things we haven’t done rather than the ones we have, but let’s start 2021 on a positive…
Sit down, get out your pen and paper and take a good look at 2020
Write down your ten biggest achievements of 2020
Forget about what everyone thinks; this feedback is for you, by you. Achievements in your eyes, big or small. List any that have made you a “Better You.”
You might have written 10 speculative applications to companies and had a couple of interviews and still be where you started, but you must have learned something along the way. Maybe you have written several proposals and not landed the work, maybe you have been to some zoom interviews and not landed the job, but list the things that have made you (and not anyone else!) proud. You will have improved your performance and explored more and perhaps learnt what you do like and what you don’t, which is crucial to finding yourself in the right role.
Here is how you do it. You have to tell the story of your achievement. Use the STAR method.
The STAR model…
is a framework for answering questions like “Describe the most difficult/rewarding/interesting……” or “Give me an example where you ……”
STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result:
Open with a brief description of the situation and the story’s context (who, what, where, when, how).
Explain the task you had to complete highlighting any specific challenges or constraints (deadlines, costs, other issues).
Describe the specific actions that you took to complete the task. These should highlight desirable traits without stating them (initiative, intelligence, dedication, leadership, understanding, etc.)
Close with the result of your efforts. Include figures to quantify the result if possible.
Looking back at this time, the lessons and achievements will set you up after Covid-19, so get out your pen and paper once more and write your “Wish List”. What do I want to achieve in 2021?
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Remember your career voyage is your career story, where are you going from here?