Every year we perform the necessary maintenance to our lives: routine visit to the doctor’s office, annual (dreaded) dentist appointment, oil changes, flu shot, and so forth. Unfortunately for nearly all of us, we neglect to care for one very important component of our lives: our careers.  Now is the perfect time to add a career physical to your yearly maintenance list.

Career assistance is a service that, like paying taxes, applies to everyone. Regardless of how good one’s career is going there is always a sense that it could be better. A yearly career physical is exactly what it sounds like: spending a couple of hours with a career coach each year re-evaluating your career. Why not? After all, isn’t your career worth being “checked?”

A satisfying career contributes instrumentally to good health and well-being; however, many find that conflict between their work and their lives leads to strain on the job and in the home, often causing serious health problems. High work/life conflict is associated with stress, depression, burnout, reduced job satisfaction and organizational commitment. Performing a yearly career physical can be just what you need to reduce or alleviate this unnecessary life stressor.

What should one expect during a routine career physical? It depends on the individual, of course. The visit would encompass a wide variety of services, dictated by the client’s needs, services typically changing from year to year. Although the sky is the limit, some of the topics that could be discussed are as follows:

Review your work with professional organizations and make sure that you are connected to the most sophisticated and current source of information about trends in your industry, including compensation and training. Are you taking advantage of the resources available to you?

Change in your work arrangements (i.e. work from home, reduced hours, childcare changes) gather the information and have a conversation with your career coach that will help you make a persuasive and appropriate case with your employer.

Identify and discuss your most important skills – are you utilizing your talents fully in your current position? If not, what are some of the ways you can maximize on your talents for increased job satisfaction?

Training opportunities – are there skills or competencies you lack that are holding you back from achieving your goal(s) at work? Are there areas of weakness that can be improved on that can get you noticed? Have you been overlooked for a promotion, and don’t understand why? You and your career coach can identify and work through some of these challenges together.

Career Direction – are you really where you want to be in your career? Is your work mentally challenging enough for you? Are you taking the necessary steps to achieve your desired career goals? Have you reached the ceiling in your current position, and are unsure what your next step is?

Regardless of your degree of success or satisfaction in your current position, performing a yearly career physical can help to revitalize your goals and ambitions, and keep you on a healthy career path. You owe it to yourself to periodically evaluate where you are professionally, and whether there is need for improvement. Meeting with a career coach once a year can be just what the doctor ordered.

Need further motivation? Book your yearly career physical in conjunction with your birthday. Think of it as a present to yourself – taking healthy strides to improve the year to come by evaluating your professional goals and objectives.