The timing around the end of the year and the beginning of the next always entails a great deal of reflection. We catch ourselves thinking about what went right, what went wrong; our victories, our defeats; what might have been and what might still be. This is especially true when it comes to our careers.
Whether your year went extremely well or it feels like you couldn’t catch a break, it’s always important to remember, revisit and reconnect with your Why before you transition into the new year.
What is Your Why?
We’re pretty sure Simon Sinek explained this best in his TED Talk, but here’s our version of the definition.
Your Why is the daily conviction that drives you to make the world a better place. It’s the feeling that puts things in perspective when everything you believe in is challenged. Your Why is the personal mission and passion that motivates you to overcome obstacles that keep you away from your life’s purpose.
Why Is it Important to Reconnect to Your Why
Now that we have the definition covered, let’s discuss why it’s important to reconnect with your Why. If you’ve had a pretty prosperous year, however you define it, congratulations! While we are thrilled for you, we also want to implore you to always remain steadfast in your life’s purpose; otherwise, whatever you do will lose meaning, momentum and excitement. Now, if you’re on the opposite end of the spectrum, establishing and revisiting your Why often gives you hope, makes you optimistic about your future and realigns your professional aspirations and ambitions.
So how do you reconnect with your Why? We have three simple steps.
Focus on your impact, not just your title
While titles are important, they’re not the definitive reflection of your knowledge and know-how. It’s better to focus on tasks and responsibilities that are associated with your Why. Assessing the functions you’re capable of doing and what you’re enthusiastic to do can be a good indication of the impact you can make in an organization.
Understanding the responsibilities of a role is imperative to comprehending the short-term and long-term effects that they have on the organization, the community it serves, and your purpose-filled career.
In one of our blogs, we offer an easy exercise that gauges how a role can move you closer to your ideal career by creating a “Career-Impact Checklist”. Maintaining this checklist in the forefront of everything you do can guide you to opportunities and organizations that best align with your life’s work.
Evaluate your evolution
As you’re reflecting and recalibrating for the new year, it’s beneficial to take the time to evaluate:
- Where do you want to be professionally in 1, 5, and 10 years?
- Where were you at a year ago? Where are you today?
- What are the trends you’ve observed over the last year that have affected your performance and advancement?
Conducting a candid analysis of what you’re doing, how you’re doing, and most importantly why you’re doing it in comparison to where you’d ideally like to be can help you adjust anything that’s not pushing you towards your Why. In addition to your Career-Impact Checklist, develop a solid SMART plan and seek support to stay on track. Revisiting your progress report every quarter can increase your agility by allowing you to shift gears when you’re off course or amp up the momentum when you’re doing well.
Choose the path that gets you closer to your Why, faster!
Once you identify whether or not you’re on the right path, it’s time to choose what direction you want your career to go.
Ask yourself, are you doing what your Why requires? Are the responsibilities and duties aligned with those that enhance your life’s work? Does what you’re currently doing or plan to do in the near future support your life’s mission?
If the answer is yes, then we have nothing else to say but bravo! If your answer is no, or even maybe, now is the time to act! You still have time to choose another route. While there are many, many roads that lead to your final destination, you want to take the one that gets you closer to your Why, faster! Now, of course, faster is subjective to what’s entailed to reach your goals. But if you utilize resources such as mentors, networking organizations, and platforms like ours, you can simplify your options and expedite the process of reaching your breakthrough.
If you’re in the education sector and looking for a professional switch that will lead you closer to your Why, we can help! Do you have an idea of what you want to do in the broader education space, but not sure where to find opportunities? Browse the hundreds of jobs we have available at TrulyHired, our education job board specifically designed for leaders like you!
If this is you but you’d like extra support finding specific non-teaching opportunities that align with your Why as well as your preferences, fill out a WorkMonger profile!
We hope this was helpful and we wish you nothing but the best in your future endeavors! And, we have a special favor to ask this holiday season. Let’s inspire our friends and community by sharing our Why’s. In the comments below, please let us know your WHY and what you’re doing to reconnect with it in the upcoming year. We’d love to hear what you have in store!