So you managed to get a summer job or internship and college seems like months away. You are getting you head down, putting in the shifts, living and learning. Time goes by and bye goes the time. How do you sustain the personal gains you make going forward?
I’ll show you how giving proper attention to three essential elements will give you a good chance of success. The first of these is the ability to reflect as you go along.
- Capture your reflections
Find a method that suits you – video/audio/paper diary, write a regular blog, tweet. Decide what you will record, how often, when to take stock and review. Build this habit into your current routine so you get a regular reminder and it pushes you to do it. Reflect on why you are successful. Break it down bit by bit.
For significant events, ask yourself:
- What do I intend doing/not doing?
- What did I do?
- What was the result?
- What did I learn about myself and others?
- What surprised/did not surprise me?
- What helpful/unhelpful patterns are emerging?
- What will I continue doing, start doing or stop doing?
- Get mentored
Find someone on whom you can bounce your ideas, thoughts, feelings, learning and concerns or go to for wise counsel. Look for someone you trust who can support and challenge you.
- Join an online or face-to-face group
Find like-minded people who want to learn, reflect on their development, and share good ideas and practices. Check out groups on LinkedIn or Google hangouts.
- Get feedback
Your boss, colleagues at work, friends and family are the people who know you best. They will have a view on what you are doing well and where you can improve. Ask them.
- Ask yourself tough questions
OK, this is the one where a cool, quiet place with a beer might be needed. Ask yourself some tough questions and listen to what your guts say. For example, “How do I want to be remembered when l leave this job/internship?”
Reflecting is not a luxury, it’s a critical skill for 21st Century learning. As the Buddhists say, “Don’t just do something, sit there”.
If you liked this post, come back for Part 2 on banking your successes!