Resume of Your Future Self

Sara Knapp

Post by Sara Knapp, Executive Coach

One of the most powerful strategies for finding your focus at work is to write the resume of your future self. Huh? What I mean is write your resume as you want it to read three years out. Include both a description of your future role’s accountabilities as well as the five key accomplishments that you will have accomplished. 

Now stand back and look at this resume of your future self. How does it look? Will it further you along the path towards your long-term goals? Will it be something you will be proud of? Is it what you want to do? Is it what you’ve been hired to do? Keep iterating until the answer to all of these questions is yes. 

When you’re done you will have crystallized what matters most over the next three years. Beginning with these end goals in mind, the idea is to then plan backwards to clarify who you need to be, and what you need to do, over the next three years to reach those goals. Once you’ve got the plan, work the plan. 

And - because what you measure is what gets done - make sure you evaluate your progress at least quarterly, adjusting your course where necessary. This same exercise can be done for your whole career. 

Instead of writing your resume of the future, instead write the speech(s) you hope will be delivered at your retirement. While less effective as a short-term prioritization tool, envisioning this longer-term future self can be hugely beneficial in teasing out what kind of difference you want to make. 

Armed with this kind of clarity of purpose, you will find navigating your career decisions and staying focused on what matters most is a lot easier to do.