By Hannah David

At TMOG Learning Center, we hold that life is the best teacher. If you are not paying attention, reaching your goals will become more challenging. Most everyone knows the adage: “experience is key.” But our team would modify that phrase to say: experience is fundamental only when you learn from it. Ask yourself, what is the point of job experience if you did not become better because of it? How many of us can look back on the most challenging times in our lives and say to ourselves that we truly learned from our mistakes? Self-reflection is beneficial in our personal lives and our careers.

Take a minute or two, go through your resume from your first job until now. What did you learn or take away from each position? Are you able to look back and appreciate what you learned? Even if the job was difficult, either from work itself or the work environment, can you be honest with yourself and find the silver lining? Map out what you have learned and connect the dots. You should see how each lesson leads you to the next position, the next job, or the next step in self-actualization.

Reflecting on the past can help dictate your future goals. Think about your current position: what are you working towards now? How can you expedite or advance yourself? The key is learning. Whether you are a transitioning veteran or see your career future as a straight line, there are plenty of ways you can continue to climb that ladder. What skills do you want to improve? Are you stuck in your current position? Determine where you want to be and begin by researching and filling in the steps you need to take to get there.

For those looking to progress in their management careers, advancing may take the form of the Project Management Exam and achieving certification. What would this certification do for you? It solidifies the skills and knowledge you already possess through your management position and applies it in a generalized way. Certification in your career can be a positive marker in your life. When you are up for a promotion or applying for a new job, that is one concrete aspect you can point to and say, “I’m qualified.”