Give Your Career a 360
I’m a big fan of individual and organizational feedback–that which comes from others as well as the self-directed, self-reflective kind. When we give ourselves opportunities to take stock we get clearer on what is working (so we can do more of it) as well as that which isn’t working (so that we can self-correct and do less of it). We also stay connected to our personal power. It’s just so darn easy to believe that we are puppets in our lives being manipulated by forces beyond our control. Engaging in periodic feedback creates the opportunity to learn from what we assess, and use it as the foundation for future action.

One of my favorite forms of assessment is a 360. Typically, this form of feedback is used organizationally and allows employees to anonymously assess a colleague in all areas of performance or leadership. CAREERpreneurs can also administer a 360… on their careers. To do so, we identify an area we want to reflect upon. And then we take a nod from Clint Eastwood.

We ask:

Where’s the good?
Where’s the bad?
And where’s the confusing?
Believe it or not, it’s the “confusing” that’s typically most valuable. Most of us are usually pretty clear on the answers to the first two questions. For example, I know my CAREERpreneurship strengths lie in my professional pitching, relationship building, and ability to shift just about any challenge into an opportunity. On the flip-side, I know what’s bad–I mean, where there’s opportunity for growth–(yup, my mindset really is a strength!) I continue to have room to grow in maintaining present moment orientation with a vision toward my two-steps ahead. (I often get lost in dreaming about the two-steps ahead). I also continue to work on trusting that the universe has my back. I know this intuitively, yet when I’m waiting on something from a vendor or know that an opportunity is meant to be and yet I have to really push to move it forward, anxiety and doubt set in like clockwork.

It’s the “confusing”– however–where the real gold mining takes place. When we make note of what we’re not clear on, we direct our attention to the place we have the greatest opportunity to learn and grow.

One of my clients received a promotion she had been gunning for the better part of the last 8-months. Now that she has it, she’s wondering if it’s what she really wants. She’s clear on the good–more money, more responsibility (chiefly, the opportunity to lead a small team), and more respect from her colleagues. She’s equally as clear on the bad–longer hours, more responsibility (she’s the one overseeing the results being delivered), and less time doing the creative work that brought her to her company in the first place. When she asked herself what she’s confused about, she realized the question she really needs to answer is: Do I want to be in a management role leading others to do creative work? OR Do I want a more senior position as a creative professional?

Identify for yourself this week an area of your career development (e.g., networking, resume writing, or platform building) that you’d like to do a 360 on. Based on your area(s) of confusion, What’s the real question you need to answer?