I’ve been thinking a lot about gaps recently. Specifically the ones in my technical abilities and professional judgement. No one is without gaps and there will always be something we can improve on be it communication, technical prowess, empathy…
The challenge is in identifying them and making a plan to fill them. As I’ve begun to think about what the next decade of my career could look like I’ve tried to identify what I’d need to improve on to achieve that vision.
So how do you figure out what your gaps are? Well, there’s certainly a whole category that’s easy to identify. Knowledge gaps, for example, where maybe you don’t know enough about some technology, or you have difficulty planning projects holistically, etc. But there’s a whole other category of gaps that aren’t as easy to identify because they require self-reflection.
Self-reflection is one of the most important growth and self-improvement tools you have and you should use it liberally. Taking a step back and assessing with as little bias as you can makes so many things come into focus; missed opportunities in communication, root causes for a process breaking down, valuable feedback to give someone, how you could have prioritized better, how to be more approachable to early career developers. The list goes on.
Once you have self awareness of particular areas for improvement it becomes so much easier to begin making meaningful and targeted improvement. Talk to your manager and get feedback on that particular area, jot down some ideas on how to improve, do whatever you can to lean into that gap and improve.
I think you’ll see that next time you will have made progress and your manager will notice ✨