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What's In Your 2013 Career Highlight Reel?

Dec 20 2013, 3:01pm CST | by

What's In Your 2013 Career Highlight Reel?
Photo Credit: Forbes

As you inch closer to the end of the year, you might already be focused on plans for 2014. However, don’t forget to celebrate this past year. In fact, borrow a tradition from professional sports and create a highlight reel for your career success specific to the last 12 months. Here are some milestones to consider:

Amazing play.

I’m not an avid sports fan but even I love watching those play-of-the-game highlights with the athleticism, grit, and spontaneity on full display. What were your amazing plays for 2013? Did you come up with an idea to liven a flagging meeting? Did you figure out a workaround for a project that was stuck? Review all those times when a colleague said, “Thank you for that [thing you did].” Remember your own amazing plays and identify strengths to build on next year.

Turning point.
Many sporting games have a critical turning point when momentum shifts or a player/ team that seemed out of it finally wakes up. What were your turning points in 2013? Was it a particularly meaningful piece of feedback? Was it an insight you gleaned about a client or your role overall? How have you shifted the way you work? Review the memorable events from 2013 and see if there are turning points you have overlooked.

Best defensive move.
Winning is also about staying in the game long enough for the turning points and amazing plays to happen. Career defense means you keep your foundation strong – updated skills, solid network, current expertise. How did you shore up your foundation in 2013? Did you attend a conference or other professional event? Did you subscribe to a trade journal? Did you send holiday greetings to former colleagues? Remind yourself when you practiced good foundational, defensive moves and continue these into the new year.

We all make mistakes, and we can better appreciate them with some distance. So now that your feelings aren’t so raw, revisit your career bloopers from 2013. Did you hastily put together an email and send it to the wrong person? Did you forget about a meeting altogether? Did you put off a difficult conversation only to have a blow up later on? The point isn’t to reopen a wound but actually to make peace with it, learn what you can, and move forward.

Most valuable player.
If you had to pick the person with the most significant contribution to your career success in 2013, who would be your MVP? Did your boss give you a high stakes project to prove yourself? Did you mentor call senior leadership with a recommendation on your behalf? Did your significant other prop you up during a particularly busy deadline? Do you have no one on your list and feel like you’re all alone? Everyone needs someone in their corner, so celebrate the people in yours, and make the new year about expanding this important aspect of your career team.

Professional success isn’t binary like sports – you don’t only win if someone else loses. But you can learn from a sports-like highlight reel that spotlights the good, gives levity to the bad, and celebrates your best supporters.

Caroline Ceniza-Levine, career and business expert, writer, speaker and co-founder of SixFigureStart®, coaches people who want to make a change – from one career to a new one; from employee to entrepreneur; from manager to executive. She’s also a stand-up comic, so she’s not your typical coach.

Source: Forbes

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