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Let’s Have a Mid-Year Career Check-in

Celebrate your milestones and your progress and admit where you have failed. Admitting failure is not an indictment to you as a person. It only means that you are willing to make the necessary changes.

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Celebrate your milestones and your progress and admit where you have failed. Admitting failure is not an indictment to you as a person. It only means that you are willing to make the necessary changes.

Photo credit: Lookstudio

At the beginning of every year, we start with targets for our lives and careers. We write our goals down and make resolutions for where we want to grow and milestones we want to achieve. Now that we are in the middle of the year and past the first half, it’s time to evaluate the progress you’ve made so far.

Pointers to consider:

How much have you learned

Change is the only constant thing in life and to keep up we need to be on a continuous trajectory of learning. Constant learning helps us stay ahead of the pack. Learning also helps us remain relevant and significant in our respective fields.

When evaluating how much you have learned, you should look at how many new courses you’ve done. New courses help you increase your knowledge bank and add to your skills. If you have acquired new skills because of learning, then that means you have grown.

Secondly, learning comes with a paradigm shift concerning different things. This is about maturing in our attitudes, making better decisions, and owning up to failures and mistakes we commit. If the way you handled issues at work -such as conflict, leadership, taking instructions- is still the same, chances are you’re stagnating. Have an honest conversation with yourself and check what you can do to be better.

In the same vein, investigate how much your emotional intelligence has grown. Reflect through your journey and audit what you have done to cross that checkpoint.

The most important part of career growth is personal growth. One speaker always says that an organization cannot grow until the organism (the people working in that organization) grow.

Execution of tasks

How do you handle tasks now in comparison to the beginning of the year? Are you faster, more organized, and can increase tasks in your workload? How do you organize your work and have you overcome the challenges that you used to face?

For example, Keith was struggling to draft a basic to-do list every morning. Lack of a detailed plan always jumbled up his day and he discovered that he wasn’t getting much done leaving him stressed. He also discovered that it took longer to finish tasks because he didn’t have a good work strategy.

But he implemented a daily routine where he would write everything he needed to do the previous night. He then checks off the items in the list to the last one. As a motivation, he would reward himself when he succeeded by buying himself something.

This strategy made him realize that he had so much free time to learn new courses and work on his blog. He was also able to isolate his distractions with this system, which has made him more effective in his work such that his boss commends him regularly.

What new habits have you formed?

There are different habits that you might have intended to develop. For example, you might have wanted to read a book every month or write something every day. These habits play a big role in achieving your career goals in the grand scheme of things.

Good habits can only be formed through consistency and discipline. The advantage of good habits is that they replace bad ones or non-progressive habits.

How many bad habits have you dropped? For example, if you would spend more than you earn,  have you made at least some progress in becoming more prudent with your finances?

Celebrate your milestones and your progress and admit where you have failed. Admitting failure is not an indictment to you as a person. It only means that you are willing to make the necessary changes.

Interaction with other departments

In your place of work, it’s very advantageous to know what every other department is working on. It exposes you to other interests that you probably never knew you had. At the same time, it also shows you how you can contribute while learning and acquiring skills that help you spread your wings.

Consider interacting with colleagues from other departments and let them inform you of what is happening in these other sections of your company.

Tapping into relationships

One of the most important aspects of career growth is starting and maintaining good professional relationships. This could be with mentors, seniors, colleagues, friends in other companies and so much more.

Starting a relationship is easy because all it takes is greetings and exchanging contacts. However, maintaining the relationship such that it grows to bring tangible value to the parties involved takes work and intentionality. In your evaluation what have you realized about yourself and the professional relationships you attract?

Interacting with different people teaches you a lot about yourself and opens your eyes to see who you can relate with and who you can’t. Consequently, some relationships naturally die out because of differing interests and circumstances.

You’ll benefit when you take stock of the lessons that you learned even from failed relationships.

On the other hand, it’s so beautiful when you get into a community of professionals who challenge you and inspire you to grow. Have you been able to find people who push you towards your goals and keep you accountable when you start dragging your feet?

According to the Muse, you should ensure that you connect with other professionals who have a similar growth appetite. These professionals help you gain a higher level of mastery in your field of specialization.

Do you have those kinds of friends who you regularly meet up to talk about the challenges in your industry and the changes you can make? If not, you still can make it a career goal that you’ll focus on for the rest of the year. An honest evaluation will reveal areas in your career and personal well-being that need a tune-up and those that need to be maintained.

Mental health

How do you prioritize your mental health these days? Do you carry insurmountable amounts of pressure without an outlet? Have you learned to take time off to recharge and distract yourself from high-pressure situations?

If you’re unable to unpack mental health issues, have you gone for therapy? Talking out your issues and letting a professional help you navigate them will propel you to sound mental health. Therapy helps you cope with situations that provoke your traumas and move towards healing.

If that area of your career has been wanting, you can go back to the drawing board and make new resolutions to win in mental health. In six months you can gauge what strategies work for you and the ones that don’t because you have already tested them out.

Handling failure

The fact that we’re human makes us vulnerable to failure. You’ll fail in your career progression severally. You may fail to meet your revenue targets at work or you may fail to finish your Masters this year as you had desired.

But how do you handle failure? Do you beat yourself up and wallow in self-pity and regret still? Or have you learned to embrace the lessons that the failure taught you? I love the famous quote which says, ‘you learn more from failure than success’.

Anticipate failure but also learn how to adapt fast because life is a continuous cycle and doesn’t wait for anyone. When you fail, rise up, dust yourself and keep moving. If that strategy resulted in losses and cost more than had been budgeted, the good thing is that now you know.

Failure reveals weaknesses and helps you change the way you do things. Thomas Edison’s experiments had to be repeated more than 100 times till he got it right and today we have the light bulb. It means he used different strategies every single time and even in the failure, there were more than 100 lessons.



Honest, true self-evaluation will work for you and not against you. Forging forward will be easy because the mist has been cleared. It will be successful because you have a goal that you’re working towards. Remember the quote that says, if you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it 100% of the time.

Written by

Wahome Ngatia

Peter Wahome Ngatia is an all rounded Marketing Specialist who deals in Graphic Design, Social Media, SEO and Content Writing. My passion is to use my skills and knowledge to help African businesses grow and thrive so that we can create employment for the youth. I also want to churn helpful content that inspires millennials to go hard after their dreams. Mantra: You learn more from failure than success.

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