Merry Metrics: Tracking Your Career Progress and Setting Goals for the Future

Submitted on Mon 08 Jul 2024

Christmas in July is our favourite time of the year and over at The Recruitment Company, we aim to spread the joy with a few festive gifts of wisdom. It’s the time of year when we get to do three of our favourite things; indulge in festive frivolity, raise money for charity (you can visit the fundraising page here) and stretch Christmas metaphors to breaking point!

If navigating your professional path feels more overwhelming than organising a Christmas day for the entire extended family, fret not – we're here to help.

We know that tracking your career progress and setting goals may sound as thrilling as untangling fairy lights after one too many eggnogs, but that’s where we come in - to make it feel as merry as mulled wine at the office party.

Understanding Career Progress:

Think of your career as a Christmas Dinner – you've got your star attraction (that's you – and yes, we do realise that in this metaphor you’re the turkey), side dishes (skills), and dessert (achievements). Like the aforementioned Christmas dinner, orchestrating your career effectively is about balancing these three elements:

  1. You: A wise person once said “know thyself” and this is critical for tracking your career progression. Who are you? What are your strengths? What aren’t you so good at? What are your values? What inspires you? What motivates you? Knowing these things allows you to track where you are on your career journey and to know if you are on a path to fulfilment. Knowing yourself, and continually reviewing yourself is key to guiding your career journey. Whatever else you do, how your career aligns with who you really are is the centrepiece to your success.

  2. Skills: Keep learning. Get formal qualifications, listen to people more experienced than you, do free courses, ask questions, be curious. Get new skills, hone old skills, but whatever you do, keep learning. Skills are the side dishes to your career. You are the centrepiece, the metaphorical turkey, but the table is pretty bare without an assortment of relevant skills. Keep a list of the skills you've mastered and those you're still decking out.

  3. Achievements: You, combined with your assortment of skills, are the main course of your career, but what follows is your achievements. Keep track of them and be proud of them. They act as markers in your career. From promotions to pay rises, from internal awards to successful projects, your achievements let you know that you are on the right course.

And wash it all down with:

Feedback is what keeps you lubricated. No Christmas dinner is complete without some accompanying festive drinks, and in this Christmas dinner metaphor, feedback and reviews the festive drinks of your career. It doesn’t matter if its formal reviews or colleague kudos, good feedback keeps your career lubricated and rewarding.

Setting Goals for the Future:

Now, let's talk goal-setting – it's like writing your letter to Santa, you need to be clear with yourself what it is you want, and what it is you don’t want. Otherwise you could end up with nothing but a nasty, knitted jumper. (and to be clear, in this metaphor, the nasty knitted jumper is a terrible career that you hate).  

  1. Define Your Objectives: Start by unwrapping your career aspirations. Whether you're dreaming of a promotion, a career shift or a sideways step, aiming for something is the first step to achieving it. Clarity is key.

  2. Make Them SMART: Your goals should give you clarity about what you want to achieve – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Don't let them get lost in the tinsel, shiny things can derail the best laid plans.

  3. Prioritise and Focus: You cant do everything at once. Don’t be greedy or you’ll end up on the naughty list.

  4. Seek Support and Accountability: Don't be a lone bauble on the Christmas tree – share your goals with trusted peers who can offer support and mentorship.

  5. Embrace Flexibility: Life can be pretty unpredictable. Stay flexible and adjust your goals as needed. Sometimes the shiny bauble in your peripheral vision is the unexpected thing that ends up being the career you love.

Tracking Progress and Adjusting Course:

Finally, let's talk about tracking your career progress. Day to day can be like a blizzard and it’s impossible to see your overall progress when you’re in the thick of it. It’s important to step back and make sure you are still on track:

  1. Regularly Assess Your Progress: How are you tracking? Are you building your skills, are you notching up achievements? Are these helping you move towards your career of choice?

  2. Keep a Career Journal: Think of it as your career advent calendar – jot down your wins, challenges, and the occasional wish list for the future.

  3. Stay Open to Opportunities: Keep your mistletoe at the ready – you never know what opportunities may be puckering up around the corner.

  4. Seek Feedback: Don't do it alone – seek feedback to help guide you through the snowy landscape of your career journey.

Remember, navigating your career journey may feel somewhat confusing and overwhelming but with a solid plan and the right spirit, you'll be dashing through the snow toward your professional dreams in no time.

If you’re feeling the holiday spirit and want to make a difference, why not join our Christmas in July charity drive? We’re supporting Youth Off The Streets, an awesome organisation dedicated helping young people, their families and communities to create safety, offer support and provide opportunities to build a positive future. Click here to contribute and spread some cheer this season.

The Recruitment Company – Making people enjoy the recruitment experience again

Specialist Recruitment Agency within Information Technology, Project Services, IT Infrastructure, Software Development, SAP, Data and Analytics, Devops, Cloud and the Public Sector.

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