Top 10 questions to focus your career strategy

career development | WomenAdvance.comIt’s mid-year, and a good time to take stock. Is your career proceeding apace toward your goal? (I’m assuming you have a goal!)

Sometimes it helps to step back and get a bigger view of where you are, where you want to be, and how to get there. Here are my “top ten” questions for self-assessment. Why not schedule an hour (or a weekend?) to answer them?

  1.  Identity: Who is holding your mirror? If you don’t like the image being projected on yourself by someone else, then choose your own image to see in the mirror.
  2.   Ambition: “How do I envision success?” Be as specific as possible, as if you’re directing a movie.
  3. Purpose: “Why am I doing this?” Use the “five-ways” technique. When you answer, ask yourself the same followup question five times: “Why is that important?” You’ll eventually drill down to your core.
  4. Brand: “What is my unique value-added?” If you don’t know, no one else does, either.
  5. History: “What led me here?” Some interesting things come up with this one . . .
  6. Risk: “What am I (not) willing to pay/invest in myself?” No risk, no payoff.
  7. Development: “What do I need to learn?” This one is best asked (and addressed) on a quarterly basis. Our world — and your job — moves quickly.
  8. Awareness: “What’s happening?” Remember to look up from your device! Your job is about more than your productivity — it’s about people and politics.
  9. Culture: “What environment best supports me?” Are you getting it at your current workplace?
  10. Strategy: “What’s next . . .  and next . . . and next?” This one is best asked — and adjusted — monthly.

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