8 questions to transform your career
One of my strongest personal values is kaizen: my value of continuous improvement. To continuously improve my life, career and happinness every month, I have a ritual I never miss.
At the end of every month, I sit on my balcony for an hour with my iPad, and ask myself 8 important questions every time.
If you're not intentional about your growth every month, then you can unconsciously stay stuck in the same position the entire year. It's happened to me before, and that's why I cultivated this ritual.
Today, I'm going to show you how exactly I continue growing and pushing my career forward with these 8 intentional questions:
1/8 What did I contribute ?
Your life and career become more rewarding when you make more and more valuable contributions to your industry, your company, and the people around you.
Every month, I find opportunities to make valuable contributions to my place of work, or to the people in my life.
Some examples of my answers to this question in the past:
✅ Contribute to an open source community
✅ Speak at a developer conference
✅ Create a learning resource for beginners in tech
✅ Cleanup tasks from backlog at work
2/8 What did I achieve ?
After years of being at this career game, the months where I don't have a specific goal defined are the months when I achieve almost nothing.
To answer this question, I look at my goals for the month, and see how many of them I was able to achieve.
Some of my achievements in the past month:
✅ Improved twitter impressions to 10 Million a month
✅ Finished 2 more chapters of my Crushing Tech book
✅ Completed a very long project at work
✅ Finished 15 lessons learning the Spanish Language on LingQ
I then proceed to set goals for the next month
3/8 Who did I impact ?
Impact is everything to me. That's what started this newsletter. Is someone's life, community or world better because of something I did ? Did my work create opportunities for someone ?
✅ Newsletter reader landed a contractor role as a software engineer
✅ Mentee of mine landed an internship
✅ Helped out a member of my family
✅ Donated 2 laptops on Twitter
4/8 What did I learn ?
I'm always growing. I always want to learn something new. Even when I think I understand something, I want to learn even more about it until I can call myself a master.
This month, I purchased a new course, and:
✅ Finished 4 sections of the Total Typescript course by Matt
5/8 What did I procrastinate ?
Just like many people, I fight everyday to keep out procrastination from my life. When I say I'll do something, I do my utmost best to do it. But sometimes, I fall short.
But I don't let this take me down. Every month, I write down all the things I procrastinated and why, then use this to make sure I do not procrastinate again in future.
✅ Delayed recording new videos for Tiktok and YouTube
6/8 What feedback did I receive ?
When most people receive feedback, they either get mad, or annoyed, and just throw it away. Not me.
Feedback can be positive or negative, but either way, it can really help you see what you're doing right and what you're doing wrong. Sometimes I receive some cold hard feedback, but sometimes it's positive.
Either way, this is my time to analyse the feedback, and make major decisions based on that feedback.
Here's some feedback I received in the last month:
✅ Your newsletters are good, but they haven't improved in a while
✅ You're going great at work, but I think you have way more potential than you are using at the moment
7/8 Who did I connect with ?
The people you know and connect with can really play a huge role in making your life easier. Connection goes both ways. I don't connect to people for selfish reasons.
I always connect to receive and give value at the same time.
This is also a moment to make a list of people I want to check up on, contribute value to, or just add to my contact list.
This month, I connected with:
✅ A student at University of London, to learn more about how to get an online Computer science degree
✅ A YC startup CEO
✅ 2 New Software Engineers living around me
8/8 What made me happy ?
At the end of the day, happiness is the only reason we do all we do. If it doesn't make you happy, it might not be worth it. I document what made me happy, and what didn't make me happy.
I do more of what brought me happiness, and less of what took my happiness away.
✅ Planning for TenseiJS open source framework V2
✅ Completing a project at work
✅ Vacationing in Cape Town