Watching Your Professional Film
If you want to improve any area of your life, it’s important that you take a look at your past performance. After a game, athletes will often check out the game footage to see what they did well and where they could have done better. Just like professional athletes, we should often take another look at our professional game film to see how we can grow.
In reality, no one’s following us around with a camera, documenting our professional successes and failures, so you may be wondering what it means to watch your professional film. Well, essentially it involves targeted reflections such as journaling, doing self-assessments, and documenting your successes and failures.
Here are a few questions to help you start reviewing your professional film:
What did you accomplish this year?
If you’re a high achiever, you likely go from goal to goal without taking time to reflect on your wins. Even though you may already be on to the next project, goal, or task, it’s still important to reflect on your wins. What enabled you to achieve that goal? What resources or sources of motivation did you have that helped you get there? Reflecting on your wins will help you to keep on winning. And examining what actions you took and what worked well will allow you to replicate the formula in the future.
Invest in a career journal to help keep track of your goals, accomplishments, and plans.
What have you enjoyed about your career this past year?
While work isn’t always fun, there should always be something about your work you enjoy. If you look back on the year and you can’t find any aspect of your work you enjoyed, it might be time to make some changes. Whether that means taking on new projects, seeking new challenges, or making a complete career pivot, try to work on those things that make you happy.
The Career Dream workbook can help you find your passion and purpose.
Which goals did you meet—and not meet?
Hopefully, you set some goals for yourself and your career at the beginning of the year. So now’s a great time to check in on the goals you set and see how you did. Did you meet them? If not, what stood in your way? Taking stock of where you are with the goals you set is a good way to hold yourself accountable and reflect on how you can improve with future goals.
Download this free Goal Setting Workbook to set and track goals.
What challenges have you faced over this past year?
Reflecting on your challenges is a really important part of your professional film. You have to think specifically about what your challenges are to be able to overcome them. Thinking about what stood in your way and how you can move past that obstacle is important.
Did your company not give you enough resources to achieve your goals? Did health challenges stand in the way? Whatever the obstacle, it won’t be possible to overcome it without first doing a bit of analysis. If you were able to overcome this obstacle, how’d you do it? Thinking about what worked will allow you to replicate the same technique in the future. There’s been no shortage of challenges over the past year, so remember to cut yourself a bit of slack if you weren’t able to overcome them just yet.
What resources were available to you this year?
Taking stock of your resources is a good way to put your success or failure into context. Think about what resources you have now and what resources you’ll need in the future to get where you want to go. You won’t need the same type of resources at every level of your career. As an early-career professional you’ll need different resources than an executive would need. It’s also useful to think about the resources you missed out on. How did that affect what you were able to accomplish?
Check out the following career resources available to IAW members:
- LinkedIn Learning for professional development,
- Leadership Lab programming,
- Networking events,
- Tools and resources
Watching your professional film is a good way to check in with yourself and hold yourself accountable. It’s important to be intentional about taking an honest look at yourself and your performance. Moving your career in the right direction will depend largely on your ability to continuously reflect and improve.
Upcoming event in the IAW community: