Often forgotten in today’s workplace is the importance of a work anniversary. Work anniversaries are as important as personal anniversaries and special occasions. This annual date is the prime opportunity for an employee to objectively assess the past professional year with some straightforward analysis. However, due to increasing professional and personal demands, both the employer and the employee have become less focused on it.
What have I learned?
The work economy has dramatically shifted over the years to a knowledge-based workforce. In the modern work world, it is now the responsibility of the employee to learn and develop new skills. To ensure the long-term success of a career, an employee should take advantage of any additional training possibilities available within the company where employed, or seek out additional training on the outside. If you are not constantly learning new skills or broadening your capabilities, you may be putting yourself at risk in the event of a restructuring or layoff.
What is next for me at my current company?
Responsibility is another key element to consider. What new or additional responsibilities have been provided to you in the past year? Do you desire to manage employees or multiple departments? Is there a pathway in your company where you can grow into a role that fits your skill set, leadership strengths, and brings value to the company? Complacency can undermine the best career intentions and years pass quickly without a candid review in this area.
What is my next career move?
Even the most engaged and enthusiastic employee should constantly be considering the next career move. While not actively job searching, an employee should be aware of career possibilities within their own organization as compared to those of competitors. Additionally, joining professional associations can be essential to developing a broader network and learning new skills. This higher level reflection process provides a perspective to a complete career agenda.
A work anniversary is a great reminder to update your résumé and LinkedIn information as you self-reflect on achievements, awards, and goals. This vital information can easily be forgotten as time passes if not periodically updated. If you receive formal performance assessments, ask for a copy of the signed performance evaluation and safeguard it among your records as you build your professional dossier. This is an excellent method of documenting your yearly performance and achievements. As you get into the habit of recognizing your work anniversary, you may be better served by six-month reviews or less, depending on your profession.
These are just a few areas to consider when approaching a work anniversary, and Campus to Career Crossroads would be happy to discuss a comprehensive career analysis with you.