In the midst of all the Christmas parties and last-minute deadlines, the end of the year is a time for both celebration and to reflect on your career. The wind-down process is a valuable opportunity to review your successes, goals, and lessons learned.As the year comes to a close, career reflection is the best way to prepare for 2022, enabling you to look back over the many ups and downs, assess where you stand regarding your career objectives, and refocus yourself for a fresh start.Here are the career reflection questions you should ask yourself as you reach the home stretch of 2021 and set your sights on the year ahead.Are you Satisfied in Your Role?Being happy in your role is important for ensuring you stay motivated and continue developing your career. Job satisfaction is typically accompanied by having a sense of purpose, feeling appreciated, having greater drive, and enjoying your work (for the most part).If you are not satisfied with your current role, why? Are you not being challenged, do you lack room for advancement or are you experiencing conflict with colleagues/management? Once you have identified the source of the negativity, think about how you can change it, whether that’s through upskilling, having an honest conversation with your employer or even looking for a new opportunity. Remember, you don’t have to accept your situation – there are always ways to improve it.Did You Try Something New or Step Out of Your Comfort Zone?Challenging yourself is a vital component of career growth, allowing you to build new skills and become more confident and resilient. It’s outside your comfort zone that real development happens!Growth entails taking calculated risks and making mistakes, so chances are if you’re not encountering failures, you’re not developing as much as you could be. Recognise areas where you have taken on new challenges throughout the year and avoid berating yourself for any mistakes. And if you haven’t stepped out of your comfort zone as much as you’d have liked to this year (understandably!), consider making it a goal for 2021.Have You Kept Up with Changes in Your Field?As anyone in the Tech sector well knows, IT is constantly evolving and keeping up with the developments is an ongoing task. Your career depends on doing everything possible to stay ahead of the game, including investing resources and time into your expertise. Have you actively kept up to date with changes in your profession this year? What technical and non-technical skills have you obtained over the past 12 months?If it quickly becomes clear when you reflect on your career that learning and upskilling have not been major focuses under recent circumstances (we don’t blame you), consider the skills you would like to acquire in 2021 and put a plan in place to build them. This could be anything from honing your data science or IT project management know-how to improving your communication skills – naturally, just make sure they align with the direction you want your career to go in.What Have You Accomplished This Year?When you do reflect on your career, it’s easy to get caught up in how far you have to go to reach your goals and forget to acknowledge how far you’ve already come. Likewise, many people start looking ahead to the next milestone as soon as they’ve achieved the one in front of them. While this type of drive is admirable, it’s important to also recognise all the things you have achieved, no matter how small they might seem.Take the time to make a list of at least five or six accomplishments – and don’t just go for the big milestones. Did you master a new programming language, solve a problem that allowed a project to be completed on time, or mediate a conflict between stakeholders? Whatever it is, celebrating your achievements will give you the clarity, confidence, and motivation to continue pressing forward in the future.Would you like support with achieving your career goals in the New Year? Reach out to the IT recruitment specialists at Sourced today – we would be happy to discuss your options and help you secure your ideal Technology job in time for 2021.