Monday, May 27, 2013

Ten reflective questions to transform your career

The words "reflection" and "workplace" are two that are not commonly found in the same sentence. In fact, most of our time at work is spent in the busy sphere of "doing" that we do not allow ourselves an opportunity to better understand why we are doing it, how we came about doing it, and what we are learning. 

Reflection is an important way to bridge that gap, to not only improve our on-the-job performance but to powerfully connect with our career. By creating a practice of reflection, you will have a stronger understanding of your contributions (including strengths, experience, and creative solutions) and your industry (its issues, complexities, and impact). 

Leverage these questions to become more reflective in your work:

What do I feel I excel at doing, and how does this compare to what others tell me?

What experiences have propelled me to where I am right now, and where do I want to go in the future?

What qualities of my character are on display in my work, and do they represent who I want to be?

How do I get to be creative in the work that I do, and how has that helped me grow?

Who are the important players and/or organizations my field, and what about their work impacts mine?

What need is my industry serving, and how might that need change in the short and long term?

What issues are important to my industry, and how might those issues shape future policy or practice?

What challenges is my industry facing, and how does what I do impact them?

What would it benefit me to learn so that I could be of more value now and in my future?

What is my industry growing in to, and how does this coincide with my values and beliefs?

Intentionally set aside time to reflect on these questions - even if it is a few of them - and reap the benefits of being a more learned, responsible, and aware professional.

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