Every year around this time, I take a few minutes to reflect on how the business is doing, on my goals and development plans, and on what I want to accomplish in the coming year. Although most of that work is focused on how to move the business forward, I also make sure to take stock of my own career trajectory. I always ask myself three questions when I do this:
- Am I having fun at work?
- Am I learning and growing as a professional?
- Is my work financially rewarding enough, either in the short term or in the long term?
Of course, I always shoot for 3 YES responses. Then I know my career is on track. But as long as I get 2 YESses, then I feel like I’m in good shape, and I know which one to work on in the coming year. I’m not sure I’ve ever had a situation in the dozen years of running Return Path where I’ve had 0 or 1 YESses. If I did, I’d probably spend more time thinking about whether I was still in the right job for me.
I think these three questions can work for anyone, not just a CEO. Hopefully everyone takes the time to take stock like this at least once a year. It’s healthy for everyone’s career development.