Professional self reflection questions for your work life

It is widely believed that we should strive to identify our strengths, pursue our passions, and find fulfilling careers that align with our interests. In today's corporate world, there is a growing number of professionals and executives who find themselves discontented and confined by their own achievements, yearning for an escape but uncertain of where to begin.

To initiate the process of self-reflection and encourage you to contemplate your professional life, we've created questions to serve as a valuable starting point. These questions will prompt you to momentarily step back from your current role and consider the broader context of your work and personal life. By taking stock of your current and past self and future career growth, you can gain a clearer understanding of your professional aspirations and make more informed decisions.

The self-reflection questions comprise a combination of analytical and introspective inquiries. Some questions delve into specific details, while others encourage you to contemplate the larger picture over the past year. This balanced approach allows for a comprehensive assessment of your professional journey, taking into account both tangible factors and personal fulfilment.

RELATED: How to create a strategic career plan

It is crucial to note that these questions are not exclusively meant for those dissatisfied with their current positions. Self-assessment should be undertaken periodically by everyone to gain insight into a fulfilling life, as it allows us to recognise and appreciate what is working well in our lives and identify sources of satisfaction. By getting a deeper understanding of the elements that bring fulfilment, we can actively seek out and incorporate more of these aspects into our careers, leading to a greater sense of purpose, contentment and career satisfaction.

Self reflection questions for professional and personal growth

  1. What have been your 3 best work experiences (be as specific as you can – what project, team, role, activities)?

  2. What have been your 3 worst work experiences (again, be specific…)?

  3. What are 3 essential elements of a job for you (things you absolutely must have to be happy at work)?

  4. What are 3 absolute no-nos in a job (things you could not put up with, no matter how good the job otherwise)?

  5. What skills, talents, and pursuits would you like to have or develop in your life?

  6. What fires you up, makes you feel excited or gets you hot under the collar – where are your passions?

  7. What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

  8. What is stopping you from having your ideal career? What is in the way?

  9. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? (When you were very young, in primary school, a teenager…) It doesn’t matter how strange or unlikely or impossible it seems now (I wanted to be an alien…). Have you lived the fantasy in some way, either as a career, or through a hobby or in another form? What have you let go of…why? Did it seem unattainable, or not sensible enough? Did you get talked out of it, or lose interest? How could you give space to these dreams in your life now?

  10. List 12 experiences / skills / activities / jobs that you would like to have in this lifetime, but haven’t yet done

Reflecting on your career and professional development is essential for personal development and fulfilment. These self-reflection questions serve as a valuable tool to initiate this process, enabling you to evaluate your current circumstances and chart a path that aligns with your passions and aspirations. By reflecting on past experiences, you can gain valuable insights, make informed decisions, cultivate positive relationships and ultimately lead a more satisfying and purposeful professional life.

Planning your professional goals and ready to make a move into a new job? Browse open job roles or talk to Michael Page recruitment specialists about employment opportunities in your industry.

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