You will notice its actually not easy to think of everything you went through in the last decade. A decade is a long time! But when you do, you will gain some great insights into what makes you truly unique, happy, when do you achieve greater things, in what cases do you feel proud, etc. The best part is that this will help you plan the future. I don't believe we can plan a decade in advance but you can plan your next 2-3 years and own your plan for growth. In #CareerLeap we dive into this exercise in much more detail but let me give you a taste. So let's get right to it!
Milestones, Accomplishments & Wins
Look back since 2010...
Look back at your life in the last ten years. What changed in terms of work, life, family, travel, hobbies, volunteering and more. Let's list some of these so you start remembering what you have lived through in this decade.
1) Where have you been in your life and career since 2010?
2) List all the Milestones, Wins, Awards (personal or work related) that you have achieved (don't be humble - everything counts). This includes achievements around kids, hobbis, sports, travel and more. List them all! Look back at photos and emails to help you remember. You should have at least 10 if not much much more.
3) What hurdles and obstacles did you need to overcome? Write some of these stories down! Just remembering these stories will inspire you and show you how strong and capable you are!
4) When looking at your lists so far, what makes you most proud? Why was this occasion special? List 3 events that were most pivotal for you because you were the happiest, proudest, you learned something important, etc.
When we look deep into various successes and wins and what made us happy, we can see also what skills and strength we used in the various occasions. These skills are usually what some would call the 'Zone of genius' - this is what makes us truly stand out. If we can tap into this zone of genius in the future we will see more such wins and happiness - so let's try to find yours.
1) Looking at the list of your achievements and think hard - in what scenarios do you see wins, success, happiness? What's common among some of these events? Were you working extremely hard? Tapping into what makes you happy? Found yourself out of your comfort-zone? Using great communication skills? Public speaking, etc.
2) What skills have brought you the success above? List all the skills that come to mind!
3) What skills helped you overcome the challenges you mentioned above? The skills that help you overcome great obstacles may be the same or different from skills which help you win and see success. What are those skills in your case?
4) Out of everything you listed what are the 3 most important/visible/crucial skills you have that you are most proud of?
I used to tell my team that 'failure is not an option'. I was wrong. What I meant was that giving up is not an option - there is always one more thing to try and one more step to make. Even if that step is sideways or backwards - there is always a step.
As far as failures - I sometimes feel like I eat failures for breakfast :-)
The more you'll try new things and the more you will leap and get out of your comfort-zone the more you will fail but the more learning opportunities you will have. Sometimes we just move on so fast we don't take the time to reflect. So lets make sure you really dig into these failures and take the most important lessons with you into 2020.
1) What mistakes have you made that you want to not make again? This year after year and event after event since 2010
2) What are some of the capabilities you want to improve in the future?
3) Who are some role models within your field (or a field you want to leap into) you want to learn from in the coming year or two?
Looking into 2020!
1) What do you want to focus on in the next two years? If you needed to pick two focus points to have in your life in the coming year or two which would you pick?
Better reputation, title, responsibility or even fame
Impact - feeling of making a difference in a company, society or the world
Balance - more time outside of work for family, hobbies, health, travel etc.
Remember to pick only two of these that are a must. The other two - you may need to compromise on.
2) What would be your dream job? Something you would love to do if you had the time/money? Where do you want to leap to? A better role? A new business of your own? What would it be?
3) What's holding you back from achieving your dream job? Sometimes these are objective gaps (example - I will not be a doctor if I didn't study med). But sometimes we are held back by fear of trying or admitting to ourselves and those around us what we really want. Which one is it for you? There are cases in which we are extremely busy but if we analyze it, we are busy doing things people expect us to do and not things we want to do or actually need to be doing. (example chasing more studies, higher pay/title, etc - not because you want those but because society expects those from you). What are those gaps you have? List them all. Now look at each gap - what's the easiest way to close these gaps so you can leap?
4) Now write does 3 plans for the next 2-3 years:
- In 2020 I want to focus on...
- In 2020 I want to start...
- In 2020 I want to work more on...
I'm looking forward to hearing your plans! Comment below so you can inspire others by sharing your journey!