By Karen J. Reiff

If you want to figure out where you want to go next, it may be helpful to first start with an assessment of where you’ve been. Investing in the right professional Career Coach may an appropriate activity. However, there are a lot of questions that you could consider on your own that could lead you to make the right decision. If you do choose to hire a Career Coach, you will likely find that coming to that first appointment with the answer to these questions will improve on the return of your investment!

Is there a common thread in your career history? Are you using the skills, education, and training you have? If not, why not?¨ 

Set career goals for yourself. Where do you want to be 1 year, 3 years, and 5 years from now? What do you need to do to get there?¨ 

Take time to document your work accomplishments. What was the most important thing you did in your job in the last year? What was the impact of that accomplishment — did you save your company money, or bring in revenue? Can you quantify the financial impact?¨ 

Look at your relationships with your co-workers, bosses, and those you supervise. Do you need to make any adjustments? Could you strengthen these relationships? How?¨ 

Think about what you’d really like your life to be like. If money and time were of no concern to you, how would you spend your days?¨ 

Determine what your #1 priority is (personally) for the next 12 months. What is the one thing you absolutely want to accomplish, or see, or experience in the next year?¨ 

Professionally, what do you want to be different in the next year? What do you want to be doing more of, and how can you get there?¨ Ask yourself: Am I doing the things I need to do to get where I want to go?¨ 

Write down what kind of support you need — personally and professionally — to reach the goals you’ve set for yourself.¨ 

Start an accomplishments journal, brag book, or brag file to document your accomplishments.

The sooner you get started answering questions like this, the sooner you will start to have an actual plan to get you from where you find yourself today to where you want to be! Your past doesn’t have to define your future, but you CAN use it to determine your next steps.


Karen J. Reiff graduated from Michigan State University with a Master’s in Counseling and remains a proud Spartan. As a strategist, Karen specializes in crafting unique career stories— whether the format is a resume, cover letter, personal brand statement, LinkedIn profile, career biography, interview talking points, or more. She also specializes in career coaching so individuals can be completely confident, whether it’s interviewing, negotiating, preparing for a “meet-and-greet, or how to express their unique value in a sentence or two. She is an: Academy Certified Resume Writer, Master Career Counselor, Licensed Professional Counselor and published author and blogger.  

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Karen takes the time to uncover strengths, personality, accomplishments, and goals, and transform them into tools for each client’s career management toolkit. She provides services designed to help get the interview, get found on LI, communicate in interviews, and help clarify one’s personal brand and unique value to recruiters and employers. Her knowledge of what works is cutting edge.


Twitter: @RESstrategist





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