“Women need real moments of solitude and self-reflection to balance out how much of ourselves we give away.” Author Barbara De Angelis.
You may find that you are always the last on your list and you consistently have far too much to do! You need to create a presentation for the board on Tuesday; your son has a basketball game tonight you want to attend; you realized this morning you are down to your last pair of panties; and your parents are coming for dinner Tuesday night AND it is only Monday morning. Now you are telling me, Kay, I need to pause to self-reflect! What kind of world are you living in? The world where you take care of your needs and your career.
Reflection is an impactful tool for your professional growth. Without self-reflection you are on career auto pilot. Being on auto pilot is a sure-fire path to hating your job; not using your strengths and experiencing burnout. Reflecting can help you learn what changes you want to make in your career in an intentional way, instead of just cruising along. Besides being busy, why don’t you ever get around to career reflection? I would propose to you that often it is because you are scared to death, scared of what you might hear! If you get quiet, you may have thoughts and feeling come to the surface. Pushing thoughts and feelings down are often our way of coping, just putting one foot in front of another. If you got quiet, you might hear:
- I have really made a ton of mistakes lately
- I was a jerk today with Tony
- I have not had a raise in six years
- My boss dumps work on me and always get the credit
- I am not moving up in this organization
- There is not another position here I aspire to
- I have been here too long
- I have never felt more respected in my career
- My talents and strengths are being used every day
- My manager really cares about my professional growth
- I love my team
- I see a clear path for promotion here
- My employees are the best
- Every project I work on is creating growth
Who knows what you might hear! Indeed, the #1 job site in the world, proposes the following as possible benefits of quiet self-reflection:
- Reducing negative thoughts
- Increasing understanding of yourself and your coworkers
- Emphasizing your strengths and improving your weaknesses
- Clarifying your intentions for your time and talents
- Defining professional goals and being strategic with opportunities for growth
- Developing creative thinking skills
- Encouraging engagement in work processes
- Building confidence
I am not proposing you just get quiet and hope a lightening bolt of new awareness hits you. Instead getting skilled at asking yourself great questions is the key. Open-ended questions starting with the words: what, how, when, why, who, which, etc. will get you reflecting. Included below are some great questions to get you started.
- What steps do I need to take now to advance in my career?
- What professional changes do I want to see in my future?
- Which of my work relationships need improvement? What steps do I need to take to make them better?
- What achievements am I most proud of this year?
- How can I better reach my goals this year?
- When will I take the first step to get those goals moving?
- Who is the key person for me to get in my corner now?
- How would I feel if every day were like today?
It’s time to move from auto pilot to planned, intentional, strategic career enjoyment. You certainly deserve to have the career that fulfills you, uses your skills and talents, and makes an impact. Self-reflection is a powerful tool in digging up the answers you need for your professional journey.
If this self-reflection journey feels horribly daunting, you are not alone. Many of my clients initially didn’t know the questions to ask or how to implement the answers when they did get answers, that’s where I come in. My career maximizing coaching is based on asking the right questions at the right time to right you on your right course. Unsure if this would make a difference? Let’s find out by doing a complementary 45-minute phone consultation to see if coaching could maximize your career. Email Kay@highheeledsuccess.com or call 513-561-4288 to get the ball rolling.