career dashboardI track my running using an app to see how far I’ve run, how long it took, the average and fastest mile times and the number of calories lost. I could collect data on a whole lot more like my heart rate but, hey, I know I’m alive! This is particularly useful when I train for a charity event like a 10k or half-marathon and I can see what needs adjusting to be ready on the day.

What has this got to do with jobs and careers?

“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” Yogi Berri.

To which I’ll add, you don’t know when you will get there if you don’t know where you are and how you are doing.

I’ve used a personal dashboard for my wellbeing for some years. It has four dials on it. Just like a radio, if the station isn’t tuned in properly, you get unwelcome interference. Through understanding what makes me tick and what doesn’t, I know to pay attention to these four factors for my mental wellbeing:

  • Having a meaningful purpose in my life
  • Clear career and business direction
  • My personal values are driving how I live my life including work
  • I have the right support around me from people I trust.

I use a traffic light system to monitor each of them – Green means I’m feeling at my best, Amber means things are not quite right and I need to act now to prevent going Red when my wellbeing is not good.

You can apply a traffic light system to assess your progress towards your job and career goals. This can be tactical in terms of job searching or strategic regarding career direction over a much longer period.

  • What’s Red and badly needs attention for you to get back on track? How is it making you feel? What’s within your control? What action will you take immediately?
  • What’s Amber because a plate needs spinning right now or it will fall and you will go off track? How important is this to you? What needs to happen and when?
  • What’s Green and is on track? What did you do to make this happen? Will this work again in the future or will you need a different approach?

Get a friend, family, coach or mentor to hold you to account. Publically declare your intent in order to hold yourself to account. Create your personal job and career dashboard, use a traffic light system to monitor and adjust the dials whenever you need.

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