Whether the year felt like it flew by or seemed like it took forever, it’s important to take the time to self-reflect, both from a personal perspective and also when it comes to your career.

In its simplest sense, self-reflection is the capacity for humans to exercise introspection and learn more about your fundamental nature and essence. It also plays an important role in personal growth and therefore, when practised often, can be incredibly empowering and have significant wellness benefits.

Therefore, the same rule applies in a work capacity no matter where you are in your career journey.

Reflecting on your work life forces you to pause and take the time to recall what your highs and lows were during the year – because as we know, the pandemic mixed in with technology and our 24/7 access to information on the internet often means we forget to slow down.

Importantly, self-reflection for our working lives isn’t just for employees who are unhappy in their current role. We should all assess our lives from time to time to determine what’s working well and what isn’t, and taking stock of what we are grateful for, what brings us career satisfaction and what aspects we can work on going forward.

Here are some big picture questions to consider and reflect upon, as many of us prepare to step back from our jobs for the year-end break.

You may not have an answer for every question but they can serve as a reminder of where you’re currently at and where you see yourself in the coming 12 months.

Before you start, remember to be honest with yourself and type or write down your answers so you keep a record and can review them again.

10 questions to help you reflect on work 

  1. In the last 12 months, what were your 3 best work experiences? Be as specific as you can – what project, team, role, activities?
  2. What were your 3 worst work experiences? Again, be specific.
  3. What were 3 essential elements of your job in the last 12 months that made it a success and, in turn, made you satisfied? Can you easily list more than 3?
  4. What were 3 elements of your job in the last 12 months that hindered or impeded success and in turn, made you unsatisfied? Can you list more than 3?
  5. What 5 skills, talents and pursuits would you like to develop or attain in the next 12 months?
  6. What can you talk about non-stop in a work capacity? Does it energise you every day or only sometimes? Is what you identified your passion, or is it something completely different?
  7. What’s one thing you didn’t achieve in the last 12 months? What was the reason it didn’t happen? Would you do anything to change the outcome? If so, how?
  8. If you knew you couldn’t fail, what’s something you want to achieve in the next 12 months?
  9. How would you rate your role currently out of 100%? What’s stopping you from being at 100%? Are there any obstacles in the way? What factors would increase that percentage? What percentage did you land on if those elements were added?
  10. If there were no limitations, what experiences, skills, activities, responsibilities would you would like to have in the future? List 12 answers.

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