"Do a health and sanity check on your career at least every two years." That is the advice I give many of the people I career mentor and advice that was given to me at an early stage of my career in IBM. It has been almost two years since I did some career introspection and I have no one to blame but myself. But, it was time to start this past May and I thought I would give you some insights as to how I do this health and sanity check.
Step 1: Review past notes (if you don't have past notes, take good ones this time for next time)
First, I have gone back and read some of the analysis I did in the past some of which was in public and some of which was in private. About three years ago I decided to make a career shift within IBM and started working towards something new. That something new led to the job I have today. After about a year of pursuing that, I did some analysis in early 2010. First I read through my private notes which started in the January of 2010. Some of these made it into blogs which I thought I would link through here in chronological order:
- Decisions at the Crossroads -- Introspection and decisions have to be made and the process I was going through to make them.
- Life in the fast lane -- Sometimes when you have to get out of the fast lane to realize how fast you were going. I changed jobs and realized how fast I had been going.
- A lot to like about working at IBM -- This was an explanation of my introspection about what I like about my employer.
- Choosing family over career -- Discussing the tough choices that fathers like me face every time we check our own fast paced intensive careers and the effects on our families.
- What has recent work added to your resume?
- What have you done outside the workplace to improve your resume?
- What holes do you have in your resume?
- Of the things on your resume, which are you strongest in and which are you weakest in?
- Have you spent enough time in your job to be considered senior and loyal but not institutionalized?
"I’m not staying become a lifer. [...] 6 years is fine. 12 is getting long unless your company is totally rocking!" - Mark Suster
- What is your resume missing to make your 2 year plan?
- What are ways you can improve yourself outside of the workplace?
- What can you change in your workplace to improve the climate?
- How can you become a better employee?