Careers evolve and unfold over many years — even decades. So how can you be sure that you’re on the right path and you’ll achieve your definition of success? To take control of your future, step back and reflect on your present. Ask yourself the following five questions:

  1. How fulfilled do I feel? This is often about whether you’re able to express your values at work. Identify what’s most important to you and then consider, “On a scale of 1-10, where 10 is the ideal, how well am I able to express this value in my job?”
  2. How am I learning and growing? To what extent are you building competence or expertise in your sector or function? What competencies do you want to develop further in the year ahead?
  3. Am I headed toward a long-term goal? While everyone hates the question “Where do you want to be in 10 years?” stepping back to figure out a broad vision can help you pursue opportunities more proactively, versus reactively. You might ask yourself “What do I want in my (work) life in three to five years?” which is a more manageable chunk of time.
  4. What seeds can I plant today that will benefit me tomorrow? Career success is often the result of the cumulative effects of small, regular actions.
  5. What relationships do I need to build to help me realize my vision? You can’t do it alone, no matter what the “it” is. Given your goals, who are the people who can help you get there?