The Career Checkup: Don’t Settle for a Supporting Role in Your Own Life Story

by Keith Sims

Introduction
You probably see your dentist for a regular checkup to maintain your oral health. It's an appointment you schedule routinely to prevent issues from escalating. But when did you last take a similar approach to evaluate your career? Just like dental health, taking stock of your professional path is essential to ensuring you're on track to achieve your long-term goals.
The Importance of a Career Checkup
Jim Rohn, a renowned motivational speaker, once said, "If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.".  Truer words have never been spoken. If you're not actively planning and working towards your career goals, you may find yourself playing a supporting role in someone else's story, rather than being the protagonist of your own.
To prevent this from happening, it's crucial to regularly evaluate your career and make sure your decisions align with your aspirations. Here are some essential steps to take during your career checkup:
1. Set Clear Long-term Goals
It's hard to stay on course if you don't know where you're headed. Reflect on what you want to achieve professionally in the next five, ten, or twenty years. Write down your goals and make them specific, measurable, and attainable. Having a clear vision of your future can help you make informed decisions and stay focused on what truly matters.
2. Regularly Review Your Goals
Just like your dentist appointments, schedule regular intervals to review your career goals. This practice helps you stay accountable and measure your progress. It also allows you to make necessary adjustments as your priorities or circumstances change.
3. Align Your Decisions with Your Goals
Evaluate your daily choices, from the projects you take on to the relationships you build, and determine whether they bring you closer to your objectives. If you find that your actions are not in alignment with your goals, it may be time to make some changes.
4. Seek Feedback and Mentorship
Constructive criticism and guidance from experienced professionals can offer invaluable insights into your career growth. Regularly seek feedback from your peers, supervisors, and mentors to identify areas of improvement and capitalize on your strengths.
5. Invest in Your Personal and Professional Growth
Never stop learning. Continually invest in your skillset through further education, attending workshops, or acquiring certifications. Personal and professional growth is vital for staying relevant in your industry and achieving your career goals.
Conclusion
Remember, your career is a journey, not a destination. Regularly taking the time for a career checkup is the key to ensuring you remain the protagonist in your life story. By setting clear long-term goals, reviewing them regularly, aligning your decisions, seeking feedback, and investing in your growth, you'll be well on your way to building a fulfilling and successful career. Don't let your professional life become an afterthought!

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