It is the year 2021, and we aren’t admittedly as clueless as we were back in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact remain felt, but the lessons of the previous year, plus vaccines, have restored some sense of control and semblance of normalcy, whatever that means nowadays.
We at Capital Placement have our challenges to face and like all others have strived to adapt to the times with our core values unshaken.
Truly, self-reflection ushers in realizations of one’s strengths and weaknesses. The exercise also provides insights to overcome the bad and continue the good, paving the way forward as another year starts.
Before you move forward and welcome 2022, look back and reflect on some of life’s most important questions. Answer each with honesty, clarity, and openness.
So, get ready with your journal, a pen, and a warm drink. Let’s head right into these questions.
Here are the top 10 self-reflection questions you should ask yourself before 2022 ends!
1. What career milestones do I want to achieve this year?
Career milestones are achievements that show progress in your career. You celebrate these moments and cherish them as concrete proof that you are becoming better at what you do.
So, make sure to identify the milestones you want to achieve this year. For example, you’re in charge of advertising, your goal is to see an increase in the number of conversions from your newest ad. A milestone may be for you to achieve the top number of conversions for the quarter in your company.
If you can’t think of any milestones, think about some goals you’d like to achieve throughout the year such as making your bed at least 3 times a week or taking a business class to improve your knowledge in this area.
Having milestones helps stave off boredom and moves you closer to your goals. Truthfully, goals appear less daunting when they are broken down into small, measurable wins.
Aside from doing well at work, you may be keen on improving other aspects of your life. It could be taking classes as part of your goal to enhance your knowledge in business or making your bed thrice a week to be more organized in 2022.
2. What were the challenges I faced that stopped me from doing my job (or at university) successfully and how can I avoid them in the future?
In our second reflection question, think about the challenges you’ve faced this year. Challenges are part and parcel of our work and everyday lives. If they are not well-managed, they can create unnecessary worry and stress, which can impede us from performing our best in our work.
Not giving 100% to our work can be caused by external factors beyond our control: family pressure, colleagues and our physical environment. They can also be caused by internal factors within our control, like our mental and physical health, distractions by entertainment, our values, and our financial planning.
Identify each obstacle you faced and its cause. Was the problem caused by people like your family or colleagues or things outside beyond your control? Did the issue arise from your end, like your attitude toward work?
Then create solutions to counter those impediments. Doing so will help you perform better and make you more equipped to face similar challenges next time.
Be honest with yourself, and part of it is recognizing that you may need to cooperate with others to overcome certain obstacles. As you learn to forgive yourself for moments of so-called weaknesses, you also learn to cope and be stronger individually and professionally.
Once you’ve identified these challenges, make it a point to counter those so that you can perform better at work in the coming year.
3. How has the pandemic changed the way I view my line of work?
The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us many lessons about the meaning and value of work this year:
● To be grateful for the jobs we have;
● Prioritise our mental health in times of stress;
● Be adaptable to huge changes; and
● To be digitally equipped.
During the global pandemic, the importance of all industries on humanity became magnified, whether it be taking orders at a fast-food chain or running a billion-dollar business. People began to realize how volatile or stable their jobs were in a pandemic when they had to serve humanity. In your reflection, compare your mindset and perception of your work before and after the pandemic.
4. How can I better manage my finances this year?
In the face of job loss or pay cut, your life could change in a snap. The current times have proved that regularly checking in on your financial position is an excellent practice and a necessity too.
One of your year-end tasks can be to account for your income and spending in 2021 and compare it with the previous year. Identify opportunities to cut expenses and use the extra money for savings or investments.
Which do you intend to include in your financial-planning practices?
- Set goals; it’s easier to delay gratification if there’s a purpose.
- Build an emergency fund because life happens.
- Invest, but only if you are well aware of the risks.
- Pay off debts, or be careful getting into one.
In your reflection of your financial standing, CoinToCapital recommends that you review your beliefs and values about money. Then, identify your financial habits and your financial weaknesses. These are pointers for you to set a financial goal for 2022. Why? Being financially literate early on in your life will help support your decisions such as moving abroad to another country to take an internship or job role.
There are tonnes of resources available for you to improve your financial literacy. CoinToCapital’s full guide is here if you would like to do an in-depth financial reflection.
5. Who can I rely on to keep me accountable in 2022?
Who are you grateful for this year?
Over the course of this challenging year, think about the people who supported you or inspired you. Perhaps you were mentored by a colleague or a neighbour offered to watch your children over the weekend.
Whoever it may be, they’ll be happy to know that they are appreciated even for the small things. After you have reflected on how that person helped, send them a simple thank you message. If you want to, you can even give them a small gift to say thanks!
6. In which areas of my work can I do better in 2022?
Nobody is perfect at their job.
In a day’s worth of work, you make hundreds of decisions. Some decisions would be second nature to you, whereas some decisions need a little oil to smoothen and get going.
Reflect on some of the areas of work which were a little bumpy for you this year and have room for improvement in 2022. This reflection will only help you make a game plan on you can further develop your areas of weakness
Here are some general skills that we can think of:
- Time management
- Stress tolerance
- Interpersonal skills
- Client servicing
- Computer and tech skills
Being aware of your weaknesses will put you in a better position for professional growth in the coming year. You’ll be able to seek resources and ask for help from your supervisors.
7. What career goals do I want to set for 2022?
This is a more general question that applies to your long-term career goal.
Before you enter 2022, have a brief idea of which direction you want your career to go. We suggest you make small and short-term career goals that can be achieved within a year, these will then help you build into your long-term goals.
For example, a short-term career goal for 2022 could be to take a certification or participate in a virtual internship to strengthen your knowledge and gain relevant career experience. In the long term, this could contribute to your goal of being a well-known consultant in your industry.
So, review your long-term career plan and create a to-do list of actions for 2022 to help you build towards that long-term goal. As a side note, a tip for keeping your goals is to be realistic about the time frame you are looking to achieve your goal and look to build accountability into your plan for the days where you don’t want to work on your goals.
8. What negative habits should I quit in 2022?
Habits are deeply ingrained in one’s being that they become second nature. Some of these behaviors seem harmless until they affect your work and life negatively.
Our career can be affected by our tendencies to be late for appointments, sleep late, scroll endlessly, interrupt, say yes too easily, gossip, complain excessively… the list goes on.
Claim 2022 as the year to free yourself of undesirable habits. Whether it is being habitually late, procrastinating, excessively using social media, gossiping, associating with toxic people, stress eating — put them on your to-quit list.
It isn’t easy to catch them since humans tend to be rosy-eyed with ourselves, so be honest with yourself if your habits are impacting you negatively and think about why they are doing so.
9. What positive habits should I adopt in 2022?
Don’t just point out your mistakes and weaknesses, though.
To be a better version of yourself in 2022, write down and commit to ways to replace those bad habits with good ones.
Baby steps, though – habits aren’t corrected overnight! Plan to form a good habit and stick to a timeline. 2022 is going to be a year of good habits…or working on overcoming bad ones. Strive for progress, not perfection.
10. What can I do to help others in 2022?
“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” – Charles Dickens
In 2022, aim to help and uplift those around you. With our privilege in check, it’s only right that we adopt a charitable heart and lighten the burdens of our colleagues, neighbours, and community. Perhaps start your own initiative or band with a nonprofit organization to do your part in society.
As part of our last reflection question, list your passions and strengths, and brainstorm ways to use them for the good of others. Then, create an actionable plan for yourself to execute next year! There is never a better time to start.
Planning for the year ahead can sometimes flop and disappoint, as we’ve seen in the 2020-21’s case. However, it’s no harm to prepare yourself to smash those goals, come what may.
From all of us at Capital Placement, we are wishing you a better year, and if you’re looking for support to launch your career – book a call! (Shameless plug, we know!)