Hello there! Andreia speaking.

Wow, 2016 has been quite a year! A lot has happened since we celebrated it’s beginning. We grew our team, had the second edition of the Landing.jobs Festival, Web Summit came to Lisbon and brought a whole new world with it, Trump became President of the USA (who knew), and we’re still all here to tell the story. Did I sum it all up?

Now that 2016 is passing by, I bet a lot of you are saying: “Thought it’d never end!”.

Well, you’re probably thinking: “Oh no! I know where this is going. Another article telling me to think about my life choices”. We’re all tired of reading the same thing over and over again when we reach this time of year but bear with me. I’m sure I can change your mind.

Around this time of year, all we can think about is where we’re spending New Year’s Eve and what resolutions will we promise to make for the next year. But let’s face it, although resolutions and goals are great ways to get yourself motivated to achieve your dreams, I can honestly say that it hasn’t been working out for me. Why? Because I haven’t been doing it the right way.

Let’s do it differently this time, shall we? For you to think about the future you have to look into the past first (wow, this looks like a quote from “The Lion King”).

Why should you take some time off to review your year?

No, I’m not going to ask you to go into deep meditation and think about what brought you here and the meaning of life. Nonetheless, it’s always important to understand where you are in your career and if it’s where you want to be. Think about the steps you took to get there and if you would do something different.

Taking this time off will help you:

  • see things with a fresh pair of eyes: time always does wonders for me;
  • understand what went great: and just keep doing it!;
  • think about what could have gone better: there’s always space to improve;
  • appreciate the fact that you achieved much more than you had thought: always celebrate your winnings, big and small!;
  • and last, but not the least, realize that it was a great year!

Do I have your attention now?
Great! Let’s have some fun, shall we?

In these last weeks of 2016, I challenge you to truly think about what you have done with your career this past year. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions:

1. What was your biggest achievement this year and why?

Think about all of them. Big or small, doesn’t matter.
What was the one that really stood out?
Think about the one that made you feel like the “king of the world”!

Now think about why it made you feel like that. This is also a good opportunity for you to think about your own definition of success. Do you see success as the achievement of big goals? Or do you find it in the little things also?

2. What was your most challenging moment and how did you overcome it?

What lessons did you take from that moment?
Do you think you handled it the best possible way?
Would you do something different then next time around?

New responsibilities, new challenges or even new tasks that take us out of our comfort zone are always great learning experiences. Face them with high spirits. Embrace them. I mean, did you ever had to face a DDoS attack? What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Learn how to hack your career through this small turning point moments which can help you grow.

3. How do you feel about where your career is heading?

Are you enjoying what you do?
Do you feel excited to go to work every day?
Do you give your all in your daily tasks?

One of the key points for getting what you want from your career is setting well-defined goals that you can check, assess and act upon. However, one thing that you might have realized by now is that your goals are always changing. Today you could be working as a software engineer, having the time of your life and tomorrow you could be working as an SRE. Life works in mysterious ways (that was deep).

4. What was your best learning experience and why?

What was your Eureka moment?
What were you learning about?
Was it related in some way to what you’re doing?
Why did that one stand out amongst the others?

Think about everything you learned this year. It might have been a colleague of yours giving you an advice. Or you decided to take some classes to learn something new or improve what you already know. Anything goes.
With great knowledge comes great discoveries (trying to spice up uncle Ben’s quote a bit).
You might find a whole new passion! Or even have a clear picture of other topics you should learn more about.

5. If you had one advice to give to your 2015 self, what would it be?

Would you do it the same way, all over again?
What would you like to have known before starting this year?
What could have helped you along the way?

It might sound a bit silly, but this is actually a good exercise for you to figure out if there’s anything that you might have wanted to change in your year. The truth is that unexpected things will always happen and like I said before, it’s important for you to be able to handle them. However, if it’s possible, would be great to be warned about it in advance. Unless we’re talking about a major development in our favorite TV Show. Who likes spoilers, right?


And…you’re done! See, that wasn’t so hard, but it doesn’t have to end here. This journey has just begun!
Stay tuned for our next blog post about how you should prepare for next year and develop a plan so that all your New Year’s resolutions follow-through.

If you need help answering these questions, don’t be shy! Send us an email or join our slack community here. We’re always eager to help.

See you soon and have a nice rest!

Read Next:
Is your hiring process in shape? 6 tips to find candidates with a cultural fit
5 steps to plan your career for 2017