Join Lisa Gates for an in-depth discussion in this video Assessing your career, part of Asking for a Raise.
- The first preparation step in getting a raise is to really assess where you are in your career, and where you're headed. In my consulting and coaching practice, I meet a lot of accomplished, talented people. They got their BA, dove into their first jobs, maybe collected a Masters or an MBA along the way, and perhaps they also added a certification or two, and how about a family while we're at it. By the time they reach me, they're often exhausted and frustrated about losing track of their goals and aspirations, and no longer sure about their self worth, let alone their market worth.
So no matter where you are in your career, it's imperative to take a reflective pause from time to time, and reacquaint yourself with you, your values, your goals, and your strengths, skills, and accomplishments. Understanding and owning your strengths gives you the raw material for completing performance reviews and answering job interview questions like, "Tell me about a sticky situation or challenge "and what you did to resolve it." Or, "Why should we hire you?" To answer those questions with clarity, I'm gonna give you the highlights of an exercise called Looking Back to Move Forward, so you can begin to strategize your future.
Here's the first set of questions you need to answer. What did you accomplish in the past couple of years professionally and personally? What are the major accomplishments of your life from college forward? Take your time with those questions, and include everything that defines you, adventures, awards, certifications, go deep. Take one pass and set it down, and then come back to it later and add things as you think of them.
Now, take a look at your answers and let's mine them for the next set of questions. What values do your accomplishments reveal? Things like excellence, learning, resilience, and contribution. Next, what are the repeating themes? Do you consistently build great teams? Exceed sales targets? Are you one of those people who can translate complex information into readable prose? See if you can find a pattern. Whatever it is, own it, and write it down.
Now you wanna ask what do your accomplishments and your results reveal as your most consistent strengths? If you build great teams, maybe your strength is collaboration. If you exceed sales targets, maybe your strength is relationship building or negotiation. Alright, you now have some pretty important intel on yourself. Taking everything into account, here are two final questions to get you pointed forward. What are your immediate career goals, say in the next year or two? And, what are your long-term goals, say five, or maybe even 10, years from now? All of these questions are designed to help you sit at the negotiation table with confidence and clarity.
So let's move on to the next step in your strategic planning process, crafting career narratives or stories that frame your value.