As this year comes to a close, most of us are looking ahead and thinking about our goals for the new year. Whether it’s making plans to improve our health and well-being or setting goals for professional growth, most of us are excited about a fresh start. While we look forward to the new year, end-of-year reflections on the past year and doing an honest assessment of your customer service career are also essential.
Taking time to pause and reflect will help you become aware of everything you have accomplished – and you may need to give yourself more credit! There may also have been times when you didn’t meet your own or others’ expectations, so it’s important to consider those too. To quote Producer/Director Robert L. Rosen:
“Self-reflection entails asking yourself questions about your values, assessing your strengths and failures, thinking about your perceptions and interactions with others, and imagining where you want to take your life in the future.”
Here are some suggestions for end-of-year reflections that will help you assess yourself and your work, reflect on the year that passed and gain clarity on your goals for the future.
Reflection One: Journaling
If you aren’t keeping a work-related journal – now is the time to start! Reflect on tasks, accomplishments, communications, and challenges each week. It will not only help you keep track of important moments and achievements, but it will also provide a more objective overview of your work. Documenting your work is particularly important if you have year-end employee reviews, which we’ll cover later.
If you haven’t yet established a system for journaling for this year, you can still reflect on the projects you were responsible for and refer to emails and productivity tools to refresh your memory. Important to note are any high points you celebrated and any challenges or problems you overcame.
Reflection Two – Assessment
As you look back on each month of this year, try to be as objective as possible. Some of us have year-end employee reviews with our boss or manager, which is an excellent opportunity to review your work honestly and objectively. Be ready to compare notes on your work – and your team’s performance if you are a manager. It’s great to get a pat on the back for work done well, but it’s not always easy to look at our shortcomings. However, receiving criticism with grace is an integral part of our growth.
If your assessment includes looking at reports such as customer satisfaction surveys, customer feedback, complaints, or other customer-related trends, consider looking at them from the customer’s perspective. Their feedback will help guide your direction.
You can still do your own self-assessment if you are self-employed or don’t have employee reviews. You’ll be surprised when you discover how much you have achieved and the challenges you overcame!
Reflection Three – Goals
An assessment – if done sincerely and thoroughly – should clarify your strengths and weaknesses and any knowledge gaps. Key questions to ask yourself before setting or refreshing your goals are:
- What are my strengths and weaknesses?
- Did I meet my or others’ expectations?
- Did I provide outstanding customer service?
- Have I grown personally and professionally?
- Am I fulfilled and engaged at work?
Based on this, you can set goals for the coming year. They could include building on what went well, getting more education and training – if needed, and thinking of ways to improve communication and processes. That being said, consider making a change if your work environment is not customer-focused and not supportive of your personal and professional growth. Life is too short not to strive to be the best version of ourselves! We’ll leave you with another quote to ponder over:
“Beginning today, set an intention and a relentless focus on living your life as the greatest person you can be, in all situations.”
–Brendon Burchard, Motivational Speaker and Author
Wishing you happiness, growth, success, and prosperity in the new year!