Listen to the Episode
Get ready to take control of your career with a 15-minute annual review. This episode is designed to help you reflect on the past year and set intentions for the year ahead. The 6 strategic questions shared in the episode will guide you through a simple yet impactful review of your accomplishments and aspirations. By focusing on what you did last year, what went well, what to stop and start doing, and the conclusions you reached, you’ll gain clarity on your short and long-term career goals.
The episode also offers a valuable resource to dive deeper into the annual review process, providing practical tools for strategic career and life planning. Whether you’re seeking career growth, work-life balance, or simply a clearer focus, this episode will equip you with actionable steps to steer your career in the right direction. Tune in to kickstart a mindful and intentional year in your career.
Create your dream career, and life
- Get our free Career Roadmap to help you navigate your career
- Create resume recruiters will spend more than 6 seconds on
- Check out Career Strategy Lab, our 3-month career coaching program
Discussion Questions About The Episode
- Reflect on the "I did it" list from the past year. What were some highlights or achievements that seemed to slip your mind in the daily grind of life and work?
- What are you most proud of from the past year, either personally or professionally? How do these achievements align with your long-term aspirations and values?
- Consider the things you want to stop doing this year. Are there habits, projects, or responsibilities from last year that drained your energy or didn't align with your values or goals? How can you approach eliminating these in a constructive way?
- Reflect on the lessons and conclusions you reached in 2023. What new insights did you gain about yourself, your work, or your environment that could influence your decisions in the coming year?
- Envision January 2025. How would you like your life and career to look different from today? What steps can you take to align your actions with this vision and move closer to your aspirations over the next 12 months?
Episode Notes & Links
Sarah Doody [00:00:00]: Hey there. I’m Sarah Doody, host of the Career Strategy Podcast. Many professionals are seeking more impact, flexibility, growth, and let’s face it, getting paid what they’re worth. But how do you unlock this in your career? It starts with strategy. I’m taking you behind the scenes of what’s working for my career coaching clients. You’ll hear strategies and actionable, yet sometimes against the grain advice for how you can be the CEO of your career and stop dreading Mondays. Ready to level up your career? Let’s get after it.
Sarah Doody [00:00:38]: Welcome back, everyone, to another episode of the Career Strategy Podcast. I can’t believe we’re already at episode 51, and this is the first Episode back officially for me in 2024. Today, I have a very simple but powerful annual review for you to do with yourself. This episode would also be great to do with a friend. So you might wanna forward this, Share it to a friend who maybe is very career oriented and you wanna do these questions with them as a form of accountability and to bounce ideas and get unstuck and not overthink things, etcetera. So I encourage you to grab a piece of paper or notebook So you can come back to these questions later. And I just wanna remind you that over the past couple of weeks, we have been running episodes Where I was a guest on other people’s podcasts. So if you go back to episode 47 And then 48, 49, etcetera, you can hear interviews that I did on other podcasts like the Nielsen Norman Group podcast, IronHawk podcast and the Honest UX Talks podcast as well.
Sarah Doody [00:01:58]: So make sure you go give those a listen. Alright. So our annual review questions, this is looking at your life and or your career last year. So Whatever feels right to you, if you wanna lump it all together, if you wanna do this twice through the lens of your career and then your life, That makes total sense. So whatever you wanna do, go for it. Question number 1, what did you do last year? So think of this as your highlight reel of things that you actually did last year, and I really like doing a I did it list versus starting the year with a giant to do list of everything that you want to to try and do this year. And the reason that I like to start out with this is because oftentimes, especially in our culture and society, We are so hyper focused on what’s next, what’s next. And by really intentionally Hitting pause and forcing ourselves to reflect on what we actually Doody.
Sarah Doody [00:03:07]: I guarantee you will be surprised at what you did because chances are you probably forgot about a lot of things because you were so busy moving on to the next thing. So again, whether it’s personal or life, the what did I do last year list. Try not to overthink this. Feel free to just set a timer for maybe 5 minutes, maybe 10, and get this out of your head onto a piece of paper, and you’ll probably be surprised at what comes up for you. And if you wanna take this a step further, you might also Think about for everything you write down, how did that feel? Was it a high? Was it a low? Were you kind of indifferent to it? And really notice The things that you did last year that perhaps gave you a lot of energy or that were exciting or that stimulated you, you know, intellectually or professionally or things that you felt took energy away from you, that you hope to never do again, that you are gonna say no to in the future. So once you get that list, go back through and look at it from the perspective of how did that provide you energy or take away energy? Was it exciting, boring, etcetera? Do what works for you, and sometimes just assigning an emoji to it can be a great way. If you’re not, you know, sure of a word, Just open up the emojis and assign an emoji, and that’s a great way to to kinda reflect how you felt about whatever you did. Alright.
Sarah Doody [00:04:44]: Question number 2, what went really well? What are you proud of? So you could refer back to this list you just created, or if there’s things that jump into your head that are not on that list, write those down as well for this question. So what went really well or what are you proud of? Again, this could be personal, professional, but we’re looking for the things that just jump into your head as soon as I ask you that question. We We don’t wanna overthink this because chances are the things that kinda come into your head instantly
Sarah Doody [00:05:17]: are the
Sarah Doody [00:05:17]: things that we want to pay attention to. So What went really well? What are you proud of? Did you work on certain projects? Did you get promoted and you’re proud of that? Did you run a math marathon? Did you learn a new skill? Did you make new friends? Did you go on a vacation? You know, think about, like we said, different parts of your life because today, our lives are so influenced, you know, by our career and vice versa. So look at the last year, what went really well, or what are you proud of? Alright. Question number 3 is what do you wanna stop doing this year? So think to last year, And if there’s things that immediately come to mind when you think, oh, I’m never gonna try to do x again or y again, learn that software, Get up at 5 AM. Do whatever, you know, habits or routines you promised yourself that maybe you didn’t end up doing. Think about what you wanna stop doing. So this could also be a part of your career. It could be things you don’t wanna do in your job.
Sarah Doody [00:06:27]: Maybe it’s as specific as I don’t wanna commute anymore or I don’t wanna work remote anymore, and I wanna go to an office. Who knows? But Think about the things that you wanna stop doing this year. Next, what do you wanna start doing? Question number 4. Pretty self explanatory, but maybe you look back to your answers from question 1 and you realize, You know, that project I worked on or that hobby I picked up or whatever it was, I really, really Loved that. It resonated with me. I felt energized. I was fulfilled, etcetera. Those are the types of things we are looking for.
Sarah Doody [00:07:08]: So a new skill, A hobby. Maybe you got into management and you really loved it and you wanna do more of it. Maybe you got into management but realized how much you missed Just contributing on your own or being an independent contributor. Maybe you wanna start doing more, I see your independent contributor, work. So what do you wanna start Doody? I guess you could say keep doing also this year. Alright. The next Question we have, number 5, is what conclusions did you reach in 2023? So By that, I mean, looking back, like, what lessons did you learn? Did you maybe identify Deal breakers for your job, for your life, how you spend your time, energy, money. What observations Did you have about yourself, your job, your company, your teammates, your boss that maybe 12 months ago We’re not on your radar.
Sarah Doody [00:08:16]: And these things are really valuable because when They come to your mind and you actually notice them, that’s an indication that they are important to you. And so we wanna be able to identify whatever these conclusions are to be able to help us Kind of move in the right direction this coming year and really almost serve as a bit of a compass or filter for decisions that we might make now, 4 months from now, 8 months from now in our life or our career. Now the last question I have for you is this, how will January 2025 Look different. So 12 months from now, how is your life or your career going to look different? For example, Are there things that you look back last year and you’re kind of frustrated that you didn’t do and, you know, you know what? This year, I have to do these things, whatever those are. So how will January 2025 look different? What will you have done. What will you have achieved? Where you will you be working? Where will you be living? How will you feel? Go as deep as you want with this, but it’s kinda like if you were to paint a picture of a day in your life 12 months from now, what do you wanna look different from what a day or a week in your life looks like right now. And this will help you really visualize, okay, This is what I want to be happening in January 2025, and it’ll serve as a reminder throughout the year, Again, almost like a filter or a compass to help you make decisions that keep you aligned with getting closer to that vision of what you want your career and life to look like in 2025. So I’m gonna go through these questions again really quick, Just kinda name them off 1 by 1 so that you can write them down or you can come back and answer them if you listen to this with a friend.
Sarah Doody [00:10:29]: So, one, What did you do last year? It’s your I did it list, not your to do list. Number 2, what went really well or what are you proud of? Number 3, what do you wanna stop doing in your career, in your life? What do you wanna start doing? What conclusions did you reach in 2023? And then how will January 2025 Look different. Now when you look at these questions altogether, my hunch is you’re gonna start to see some similarities, Some patterns, some things that jump off the page at you, and you realize I have to do this. I must stop doing this. Like, You will be able to prioritize more concerning your short and your long term goals and priorities for this coming year. And all of these questions are meant to almost, like, peel back layers of an onion of of what happened over the past 12 months so you can think more strategically and intentionally and mindfully about what you’re doing so that 12 months from now, you are closer to those short and long term goals that you have for yourself professionally or personally right now. So I hope these questions were helpful. I Really recommend that you recruit a friend to do this with.
Sarah Doody [00:11:56]: Share this episode with them. Write down the questions and set some time to do it together. And I also wanna let you know that if you wanna go deeper with an annual review, in December, I taught a live workshop, an annual review workshop shop that went into far more detail about this, and so many people asked for it after the fact that we decided to make The recording of it available to you. So if you wanna get a copy of that, you can go purchase that. It’s only $29 if you just go to careerstrategylab.com/annualreview altogether, and that’ll take you to the page where you can get the annual review. You can keep the files forever. They’re recording the worksheets, etcetera, and you’ll be able to use it for years to come. So I hope this helps you have a more clear, strategic, and mindful year this year in your career and your life.
Sarah Doody [00:13:00]: And if this was helpful, I would really love it if you could share it with someone that you think could benefit from it as well. Alright. I hope you have an awesome year, and I hope to see you here next week for the next episode of the Career Strategy Podcast. Thanks for listening, and we’ll talk to you soon.
Sarah Doody [00:13:21]: Thanks for listening to the Career Strategy Podcast. Make sure to follow me, Sarah Doody, on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, or LinkedIn. If anything in today’s episode resonated with you, I’d love to hear about it. Tag me on social media or send me a DM. And lastly, if you found this episode helpful, I’d really appreciate it You could share it with a friend or give us a quick rating on Spotify or review on Apple