eParachute Blog

On finding the work of your dreams, from Dick Bolles & the team at eParachute.

Your (5 Minute) Annual Career Checklist

End of the year. Start of a new one.

In the new year, your doctor will want you to come in for an annual physical. But who’s going to suggest you should do your annual Career Checkup?

We are.

Now, in some years, your doctor will want you to do an exhaustive set of tests, helping to ensure that you’re healthy in every way. In other years, it’s okay to do a set of simple checks, like your blood pressure and weight, just to make sure your major parts are functioning well.

So, if this is a year when you just need some basics checked out, here are three simple questions. (Well, maybe three and a half.)

1. What do you love most about your work?

2. If you could change one thing about your work, what would it be?

3. Do you dream of doing something completely different? If so, what?

If you have no difficulty answering number 1, number 2 is a little challenging, and the answer to number 3 is “no,” then congratulations: The doctor says your work is healthy.

But if you had a hard time answering number 1, you have a long list in answer to number 2, and your answer to number 3 without hesitating is Yes, then it’s like having slightly elevated blood pressure: The doctor wants a few more answers.

So, just as with those more-extensive annual checkups, we need to dig a little deeper.

4. Do you feel that the changes you want to make in your work are doable? If yes, then you might want to spend some time over the holidays planning how to make those changes, starting in January.

If the answer is No, then:

5. If you could do any other kind of work that you’d enjoy, within your current organization, or with your current client or clients, do you feel that change is doable? Again, if yes, then this period is a good time to start planning.

If No, then the doctor is going to suggest a fuller battery of self-inventory. That can be done in a few minutes (using eParachute’s JUMP), or a few hours (using eParachute’s Flower course on Udemy), or a few days (reading the latest version of What Color Is Your Parachute?

But don’t wait. Just as your doctor wouldn’t want you to simply ignore potential physical challenges, let’s not ignore any career issues, either. Get the information you need to make sure you have the best possible career health.

It’s just what the doctor ordered.

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