Personal Status Report
This is Day 6 of the 39 Days to a Better Job series, where we review actionable tips to make you better at your job.
The day-to-day stuff tends to bog us down at work, especially when things get crazy busy. When we’re trying to dig out of our inbox as fast as we can, we tend to lose track of the big picture.
We forget about our long-term plans, how and why we feel, and which direction we want our career to go.
The big picture is important.
So I recommend you put this task on your calendar once a quarter (or once a month if you can): write up a quick status report about where you’re at with your job, how you feel, and what you want from the future.
I’ll be honest: I try to do these every couple of months and sometimes it just has to get pushed back. But lately I realized it doesn’t have to be very long to be effective.
Even five minutes of typing up how you feel can make a world of difference. The goal is to take a snapshot of how you’re feeling and what you’d like to do in the future and keep it for future reference.
I like to fill in the blanks to these kinds of thoughts:
- Today I feel like___ , mainly because of ___
- Right now I’m working on___
- The most stressful part of my job right now is___
- My favorite part is___
- I can see myself working here for___ more years and then I’d like to___
- I’m learning this skill right now___, but eventually I’d like to learn how to ___ so I can ___
That’s just to get you started: I usually just free write whenever I’m feeling like I have a lot on my mind and then email it to myself wherever I am.
How it Helps
It’s the same basic concept of keeping a journal, but just focusing on work-specific feelings, plans, and thoughts. When I read some of my old journal entries, I’m often surprised at the things I was feeling and the things going through my head.
With work, it’s crucial to make sure you don’t forget these thoughts.
It’ll make it easier for you to learn from your mistakes and get better and more efficient at work. When you move to a new job or are even thinking about moving on, reading these status reports can help give you guidance about what you really want to do and which direction you should go in.
It’s almost like having a counselor helping you out, giving you some reasonable advice and insight on your situation. Only instead of a counselor trying to give insight into your situation, you have a first-person account from someone who was there the whole time.
Image by ErinKphoto