How to know if your career’s on track

In the hectic haze of daily life, it can be hard to see if your work is keeping pace with your long-term career goals.

That’s partly what your reviews with your line manager are for. But relying entirely on your employer might result in skewed guidance.

Instead, there’s one question you can ask yourself every six months to make sure you’re on track: Am I doing the same thing I was six months ago?

If the answer’s yes, it may be time to make a change, according to PayPal’s Rohan Mahadevan. In his role as senior vice president of international markets, he makes a point of asking that question of himself and his team twice a year to make sure they’re heading in the right direction.

“Every six months I look at what we’re doing and I ask, ‘Are we doing the same thing we did six to nine months ago?’ If we are, we haven’t changed enough,” Mahadevan told CNBC Make It.

“Especially since the market and the world around us is changing pretty significantly, for me, we need to at least make sure 30 percent of what we’re doing is different.”

That doesn’t mean you have to see a huge change every six months. Depending on the size of your organization, it may take closer to a year or two to notice fundamental change. Meanwhile, if you’re in a more junior position, you may struggle to see how your work impacts the overall company strategy at all.

But it’s about making incremental changes that allow you to keep learning and stay up-to-date with your industry as it evolves, said Mahadevan. Those changes could be anything from looking at a problem in a different way, to developing a new skill or interacting with different kinds of people.

“It’s really about: Are you learning fast enough?” he said. “If you are in a job and the job is growing at 25 percent year-on-year, say, the question is: Are you learning faster than 25 percent year-on-year or not?”

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