We often think about getting evaluated and receiving feedback in an external way. Most often through performance reviews, surveys or assessments, or even "likes" on your social media posts.
That kind of external feedback has its place, but it's usually given because your employer, company, or colleagues are trying to help you improve so you can better serve the goals of their organization or team.
But how often do you take the time to evaluate yourself on the goals you're setting for your career? Are you taking the time to determine if you're moving forward to where YOU ultimately want to be?
You want to be happier, more fulfilled and successful in your career based on your personal benchmarks, but at the end of the day you're the only person that can determine how you are making progress towards the goals you set for yourself.
The road to a fulfilling and successful career is a step by step process, and every step you take can give you valuable lessons to make the next step easier and less daunting.
So how can you make sure to evaluate yourself effectively as you set your goals, so that you can take longer strides towards a better career? Start by regularly asking yourself these questions:
1) What happened? The first and most important step is to evaluate what happened in the past. Think about it step by step. For example, if you've been successful in landing a new job in the past, what was the process you used to get you there? You may be able to replicate that in the future.
2) What did I learn? Ask yourself what the main lesson(s) are that you took away from the process. If you set a goal and didn't reach it, what got in the way? Identify what went right or wrong so you can feel confident about doing more (or less) of that in the future.
3) What do I want to improve? After you've determined the lessons you've learned, challenge yourself to not just repeat what you've done, but to be even better at it. If you're aware of what you need to fix, then don't wait to fix it. Start now and make it a habit. Once know what you want to improve, then you can identify what you need to help you be better.
4) Where do I want to be? Determine what the ultimate goal is and evaluate if you are making progress towards that goal. It's important to set smaller, more achievable goals but to also evaluate how they feed into the larger goal you have for yourself. Goals always change, and the path to them is never straight. So if this step took you on a detour, did it change the destination? If it did, adjust your course appropriately.
If you want to reach any goal in your career, big or small, you need to consistently evaluate your progress. Every experience and every step you take towards your ultimate goal is a learning experience, so instead of repeating the steps you've already taken, take the feedback from your self-evaluation to take bold, exciting and challenging new steps.