The summer is an opportune time to do a job or career audit. You will not be consulting with any accountants, crunching any numbers or reviewing financial statements rather you may want to do this on your own, with a trusted friend or colleague or with a career coach. Ideally, you want to do both an internal and an external audit of both your job and your career.
You may want to start with an external audit which is how your job or career looks to others externally and to your colleagues internally. Your LinkedIn profile is how you present your job and career to others externally. Read it as if you were someone looking at your profile for the first time. What is the first impression that you get from reading your profile? How effectively are you communicating your skills, abilities, knowledge and experience as a professional in the most positive and powerful way? Why would a business or organization want to you hire you? Spend some time reviewing each line of your LinkedIn profile to ensure that it has an abundance of relevant keywords and that it clearly and concisely states why you would be an attractive asset to any organization. Your job descriptions should include examples of situations when you produced results and demonstrated leadership. When you look at your career, there should be a pattern or progression that relates to your current role. Once you have finished changing your LinkedIn profile, ask three trusted contacts or colleagues for their feedback on your profile. See their feedback as a gift and their comments as views you can use to improve your profile.
Then do an audit with your colleagues internally. A very powerful and insightful interview question used by savvy interviewers is: ”What would your colleagues say about you?” Rather than waiting to be asked in an interview, have the courage and conviction to ask your colleagues what they believe are your areas of strength and what are the areas that require improvement. How well do they think you are performing in your role and do they believe that this job is a good fit for you? Where do they see you in the next 3-5 years in your career? These responses will be invaluable as you do your job and career audit. Show your gratitude to these individuals for their time, energy and honesty.
When you consider looking for another role in your current or another organization, you always need to have a small group of reliable and trustworthy references. You may want to solicit the opinions of these individuals as you do your job and career audit. This is very proactive as you will know how they see you in your current role and in your career as a whole and you will be able to decide whom among them you would use as references if you intend to change roles in the near future.
Finally, when you do a job and career audit, take a morning or afternoon by yourself in a calm and quiet place and think about your current role and your career. Are you happy and excited about the work that you are doing? How much do you like and respect the people with whom you work? Does the organization provide a supportive and encouraging environment with opportunities for growth and learning? If you are unhappy with your current role, is it you or them? It’s easy to blame others when we find ourselves in a challenging predicament, yet it is important to take responsibility for your choices and decisions. Whatever is making you unhappy, have you outgrown the role, are you stuck or typecast, can things change or must you leave the organization to find new challenges?
Hard work got you where you are. Make sure that you know where you are going.