The 10 Year Career Challenge

On average, we spend 90,000 hours of our life working. It’s a huge amount of time we dedicate to our career, so it goes without saying that it impacts the quality of our lives. There’s nothing worse career-wise than waking up every morning with a feeling of dread about going to work. We deserve so much better. A rewarding career should reflect ourselves, our interests and aspirations. But it doesn’t always end up the way we want. So, how can you get the most out of your career while staying true to yourself and your interests?

The answer is to look at yourself as a brand. Your skills and interests, and how you communicate them contribute to your brand image. Learning how to do a personal brand audit and communicate how you want to be viewed can impact your career to your advantage. But it can be hard to figure out what you want, let alone how to communicate it to others.

You may or may not have heard of the ’10 Year Challenge’ that has swept over social media since the beginning of the year. The aim is to post a ‘before and after’ image comparison between yourself in the present and ten years ago which reflects on the achievements you’ve gained over the last decade. The same concept can be applied to your personal brand and career.

Look back to go forwards

In the spirit of the ’10 Year Challenge’, think back over your career and the experiences that have got you where you are now. Ask yourself what you found successful and how it got you to this point. Your interests and experiences shape your brand image and contribute to where you are now with your career. Pay attention them and think about how you’ve communicated them in the past. Be honest and consider if you’re happy with the outcome and if you’ve been true to yourself.

Be critical and think about your regrets or anything you feel you’ve missed out on. Perhaps you wish you had gone down a different career path? Or maybe you’ve done everything right, but your job is just not what you thought it would be? Use your past experiences to build a picture of what you wish you could have done and see if you can incorporate them into your career now. Be honest if you think it’s time for a career change.

Think about your goals

The ’10 Year Challenge’ only compares the past and the present, but when doing a personal brand and career audit it’s useful to think about the next decade. Ten years is a long time so it’s understandable if you haven’t begun to map out any concrete plans. But if you have, consider if you’re on track for success.

If you aren’t there yet, think about your career interests and whether they can be pursued over the next decade. Work out if your personal brand is communicating these intentions. Contemplating your personal brand and how it can impact the future of your career will increase your chances of looking back in ten years’ time with a sense of achievement.

Although it’s a viral social media trend, the ’10 Year Challenge’ offers a way to think about your personal brand and how you communicate it. It should be the essence of you so if you stay true to yourself and your interests, you will be happier in your career which will ultimately contribute to a better quality of life.


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