A Wake-Up Call For Your Career: Five More Introspective Questions

By: Caroline Ceniza-Levine

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Are you proactively managing your career or simply accepting what comes?

I asked this question in one of my Forbes posts, covering how the increasing employee turnover is a wake-up call for your career and sharing five questions to check your career health.

However, you shouldn’t wait for a trigger event before you examine how strong your professional foundation is. You also need to probe more deeply than what five questions can cover.

Here are five more introspective questions to act as a wake-up call for your career.

1) How effective is your leadership?

In Part 1, I prompted you to look at the effectiveness of your team, but how effective are you?

Do you communicate clearly? Do people enthusiastically follow you? Can you influence when you don’t have direct authority? When was the last time you delegated or coached someone on a task, and what were the results?

[Related: You Can Save Us From a Leadership Crisis]

2) How well (and how often) do you manage up?

In Part 1, I asked about support from your boss and other senior management.

Do you proactively schedule time and plan activities for how you will generate this support? Do you know who leads the different, critical areas in your company and how these areas collaborate? Are you ready to respond if a senior executive asks you what you’re working on? When was the last time you had substantive face time with a senior executive other than your boss?

3) How well (and how often) do you nurture peer relationships?

I’ve written before about how important it is to network even when (and especially when) you don’t have a specific need, like a job search. When I was in retained executive search, reference checks always included peer references.

Do you have people at your level who know your work well enough to recommend it? Do you schedule time and plan activities to maintain these peer relationships? When was the last time you connected with someone outside your closest friends or current colleagues?

[Related: Your Career Doesn’t Have To Be — And Shouldn’t Be — All On You]

4) How much do you nurture your relationship to yourself?

In Part 1, I focused on your competitiveness and your value in the market. But equally important is how you feel about yourself.

Are you living the life (not just working the career) that you want? Do you spend your time on people, activities, and issues that you value? When was the last time you spent time by yourself on something you enjoy that had no direct professional benefit?

5) What does NOT need to change?

Most of my clients come to coaching because they are looking for some sort of change — a new job, a new career, better work/life balance. But it’s just as helpful to acknowledge what is working well.

What are you doing so successfully in that area that you can apply elsewhere? Is it an area of expertise, or that you’re using a certain skill, or that a special quality of yours is evoked in this area? When was the last time you celebrated or even noticed something that is working well and thanked everyone for their contribution?

Have you gone through a professional or personal inflection point? What happened?

[Related: How to Survive the Reinvention of Yourself]

Caroline Ceniza-Levine specializes in career change as co-founder of SixFigureStart® career coaching and Costa Rica FIRE, a travel, real estate, and FIRE site. Caroline is the creator of online courses — Behind The Scenes In The Hiring Process and Making FIRE Possible — and is the author of Jump Ship: 10 Steps To Starting A New Career.

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Originally published at https://www.ellevatenetwork.com.

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