Throughout our lives, we all have different goals and aspirations, and for many of us, those goals include success and progress in our careers. However, measuring that progress and success can be a challenge. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to career development, but there are a few simple key metrics you can use to assess your career journey and determine where you are in your career.
- Set Goals and Milestones
One of the best ways to measure progress in your career is to set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals and milestones. SMART goals give you a clear roadmap for where you want to go and how you will get there. They also allow you to track your progress and make adjustments along the way. It’s an effective, no-hassle approach that is easy to alter as you go, and ensures you know exactly where you are and where you’d like to be instead—it gives you a holistic view of what you want to achieve and what you need to achieve to get to your ultimate career goal.
For example, if your goal is to become, say, a manager, your milestones might include completing a leadership training program, earning a certification in management, and gaining experience leading a team. Each of these milestones can be measured and tracked to determine progress toward your ultimate goal.
- Assess Your Skills and Knowledge
Another important way to measure progress in your career is to assess your skills and knowledge regularly. This can help you identify areas where you need to improve, as well as areas where you excel. By understanding your strengths and weaknesses, you can make informed decisions about which opportunities to pursue and how to position yourself for success, and if you want a great and effective way to assess your strengths and weaknesses that will ensure your chances of reaching your goals, is to ask no other than your manager.
Feedback is a word that incites terror in many an employee, and even employer, but feedback is integral to both your professional and personal growth. Gallup found that those who discuss their goals with their managers are about 3 times more likely to be engaged and motivated. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback; to make the process easier on you, remind yourself that this is for the sake of achieving that career goal you’ve always wanted, instead of viewing feedback as a tool for pointing out weaknesses and flaws, and only emphasizing one’s worthlessness.
- Track Your Accomplishments
Finally, tracking your accomplishments is another way to measure progress and success in your career. Your achievements don’t have to be anything grand, it could be as major as getting a degree or receiving positive feedback on a challenging project you took part it. Keeping a records of all that can help you identify patterns and trends in your career development, and it also helps you identify your strengths and the projects or tasks you’re most passionate about that bring out the best in you, and so this point goes hand-in-hand with the one mentioned previously. Identifying areas where you excel and opportunities for growth will help steer you in the direction you want to go and charting your way towards a better, more fulfilling career.
Finally, there’s no shame in homing in on the things you enjoy doing and are great at
People might think it’s “overrated” to choose a career you love and enjoy, but it can really make a difference in, not just your career journey, but your overall wellbeing. Gallup even found that employees who take up tasks and jobs that suit their interests and strengths have greater energy and more confidence. This quote from Steve Jobs sums it up perfectly, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”