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Take time to reflect on your career

Date posted:  11/10/16 02:00:00 PM The end of the year is the perfect time to reflect on your career and establish goals.

Take a moment to think about the last time you seriously thought about your career.

It's understandable if you haven't had a moment to review your career goals and status. Not only does work get in the way, but so does life. For some individuals, this can develop into a pattern that's hard to break.

But with the year ending before you know it, now is actually a good time to reflect on your current job. Doing so will help you feel better about your accomplishments in 2016 and could help you make a case for a raise or promotion.

Review your performance
Work is a necessity because you need to pay the bills and establish savings. To make sure you are on target to reach your career goals, take the time to schedule a performance review with your supervisors. According to Time Money, you should have one of these sessions at least once each year. With 2016 winding down, schedule this important meeting before things get hectic with the holidays.

Why should you ask for a performance review? For starters, you and your managers will be able to discuss your strengths and weaknesses. Identifying tasks you may not feel the most comfortable with isn't necessarily a bad thing. By knowing some of your weak spots, you can build a plan to improve those skills or focus on areas where you excel.

Perhaps you need to brush up on your spreadsheet knowledge, or the more complex details of managing an internal database of information. Whatever the case, you'll know what skills and knowledge you'll need to work on.

Additionally, since a performance review will highlight your strengths, it can help you with the next step of reflecting on your year in review.

Asking for more
If your performance has been outstanding in 2016, don't hesitate to ask for a raise. This is a smart career move on your end because if you've consistently exceeded what's been asked of you, your employer should recognize your commitment.

However, be sure to ask for a raise separate from the performance review. You can use your performance review as evidence in your favor as to why you should receive a higher salary, but wait until after you have had conversations with your supervisors to make sure you are all on the same page.

You might have to take different approaches when it comes to asking for a raise. According to U.S. News & World Report, if you haven't received a raise in more than a year, talk to your manager but keep expectations in check.

But if you've benefited from a bump in your salary in the last 12 months, you should try to gain insight as to how much the next raise will be. If it will be the same percentage as your last one, this could be a sign it may be time to change positions because your current salary can be a base for a salary at a new employer.

A raise can also be tied into a promotion if your performance review was positive. Again, this is something you'll need to approach at the right time.

Make that final push
Every job is different when it comes to deadlines and completing work. With limited time left in the year, compile a list of projects or tasks that you want to complete before your performance review.

Finishing up your list of tasks is beneficial for a few reasons. First, it will show your boss you're able to complete your work, which includes long-term projects.
The final push will also come in handy as the holidays approach. While it may not feel like it at times, work still needs to be completed from November to the end of December. Knocking as much off your plate as possible can make the final months relaxing and allow you to take a few more vacation days.

Take the time to reflect on what you want to accomplish in the remaining months of 2016, from asking for a raise to scheduling a performance review.