4 Career Questions to Reflect on for the New Year

As a new year unfolds, it’s important to take the time to take stock of all that’s happened over the previous twelve months (as eventful as they were!), not just personally but also from the perspective of your career. Career reflection is the best thing you can do to get ready for the year ahead, allowing you to process your experiences and refocus your goals for the coming months.

Here are four big picture questions to reflect upon when setting your intentions for 2022 – we recommend being as honest as possible and writing down your answers so you can review them later.

1. How Would I Summarise 2021?

Looking back on all the ups and downs of 2021 is a great place to start your reflections. What are the notable experiences, events and milestones that stand out to you, whether positive or negative? Think about the key challenges you faced and where you did well.

In a year as testing as 2021, it’s essential to focus not just on the difficulties but on how you overcame them. While everything may not have gone as planned, you can still use it as a learning experience to improve how you handle unforeseen circumstances in the future. Create a list of some of the specific lessons you learned – this will help you put the year into perspective and recognise how far you’ve come.

2. Did I Accomplish My Goals and Are They Still Relevant?

Reviewing your goals at the end of the year will help you improve your goal setting in the future by refining your priorities and establishing more realistic parameters. Did you achieve everything you wanted to in the past 12 months? And if not, what prevented you from doing so? In the areas you succeeded, determine how you accomplished this. What strategies can you take with you moving forward and what would you do differently?

Sometimes the goals we set don’t end up being as relevant as we expected. Remember not to get too attached to a particular objective if it no longer serves you – be prepared to let go of plans and pivot to something new if that’s what it takes to get where you want to go.

Tip: The best way to ensure your objectives remain pertinent is to set SMART goals – goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

3. Where Did I Drop the Ball?

For most of us, there is at least one area where we feel like we could have done better. Perhaps you didn’t master that new programming language the way you wanted to or struggled with managing the deadlines of a complex project.

By being honest with yourself about any performance issues or sticking points, you have the opportunity to try different approaches, get support where you need it and avoid falling into the same traps the next time around.

4. What Would a Successful 2022 Look Like?

The definition of success varies from person to person, so take the time to identify exactly what’s important to you and what you want to be working towards in 2022. This doesn’t just have to be about career advancement or reaching a new business milestone (though these are noble goals) – perhaps you want to improve your work/life balance, grow your professional network or develop your own web application in your free time.

Whatever a successful 2022 means for you, don’t forget to write your vision down and display it somewhere to help keep you focused as you tackle the new year. You should also begin breaking your goal down into actionable steps – for example, if you’re aiming for the next step in your career, think about what training you might need to get there.


A new year can be filled with both possibilities and anxieties, but taking the time to reflect and reset will help you avoid becoming overwhelmed and be more intentional with your time and energy. Whether your 2021 was a tough year or a successful one, reflecting on the questions above will give you the tools to plan your next steps and make a fresh start in 2022.

For support with reaching your business and career goals in the new year, speak to our team of Digital & Technology recruitment specialists at Emanate Technology. From securing the best Tech talent for your organisation to finding your next opportunity in Brisbane or Canberra, we are here to help make 2022 your best year yet!