When we first start out in our careers, it can be like a new car – things feel shiny and exciting, and nothing needs fixing. However, the further we get into our working lives, the more things can start to feel not quite right. There are niggles, or things that don’t go as planned.

When that happens, it’s easy to bury our head in the sand and just hope for the best. But as the end of the year is a naturally reflective time for many of us, this year, why not take a few moments to have a think about how things are going work-wise?

A career MOT is essentially a chance to review your career, explore what’s working (and what needs fixing) and then consider what ‘maintenance’ (to go back to the car analogy!) needs to be done to keep your career feeling the way you want it to.

The MOT can be done as a one-off exercise, or it can be incorporated into an annual review process where you just look back at the last 12 months.


Essentially there are three parts to the MOT exercise…


1. Looking back


Take a few moments to look back at your career to date/ over the last 12 months:


  • What are you most proud of?
  • When have you done your best work – what roles, environments, team?
  • What have you loved doing in the past at work that is missing right now?
  • What are the most important elements to you in your career (eg learning, creativity, travel, new challenges)


2. Right now


Think about where you are right now in your career, your role, the team, the environment:

What’s going well right now?

What isn’t going so well right now? What needs addressing?

Looking at the most important elements of your career (from part 1), how well are these being addressed currently?


3. Looking forward


What are your priorities work-wise over the next 12 months? (Feel free to choose a timeframe that works for you here).

Considering the career elements you identified in parts 1 and 2, what can you do to nurture each of these areas?

In 12 months’ time, how would you like to be feeling about your career? And what is the first step you can take to make that a reality?



If you’d like to explore the elements of your career that are most important to you, and how you’d like to move forward with them over the next year, I have a free Career Wheel download available which will take you through the process.

So as we hurtle towards the end of another busy year, why not take a few moments to reflect on your career, and explore what you might want it to look like in the future.


This article was written by Vicki Kirk, a career coach working with women to help them design and build the working lives that are right for them. You can get in touch with Vicki via her partner coach profile page.