Why A Year End Review Might Be the Key to Passing the Firefighter Promotional Exam Next Year

Generally a year end review is done by an employer, but have you ever considered doing one for yourself? If you are working on firefighter promotion a year end review may be a great way to determine if you are on the right track to promotion in the fire service. 

What Is A Year End Review?

A year end review is a simple analysis of what you accomplished and what you didn’t. The goal of the year end review of yourself is to set goals for the new year and keep striving to be the best you can be. It is in no way meant to make you feel bad about what you didn’t do, but to empower you to keep going after your goals. 

How to Complete a Successful Year End Review

  1. Accomplishments

The first step to a year end review of yourself is to look at what you accomplished. This can be in both your personal and professional life, big and small. What can you look back on this past year and be proud of? Ask yourself did you accomplish any career goals, have any major life or relationship changes, move houses, and so on. Write them down. Really look back and remember what you are proud of, look at who you spent your time with, what you did right and what you should keep doing in the new year to reach your career goals. 

  1. Misses

To do a successful year end review you do need to look at where you went wrong. Did you have any big failures that have left space for changes to be made. Ask yourself did you fail your firefighter promotional exam, spend way too much time on your phone, not quite hit a personal goal you wanted to and so on. Remember, the goal of this isn’t to shame yourself and make you feel bad, but to improve where you can. 

Final Steps

  1. Decide What Needs to Change

Once you have analyzed your year and broken it down into successes and misses it is time to see where changes need to be made. If you want to promote in the fire service, or reach any goal you may have, stopping and realizing something isn’t working and correcting that behavior is an essential skill to have. It can be hard to make big changes, but sometimes they can be necessary if you want to reach your goals. 

  1. Decide What Needs to Stay the Same

Just as you decide what changes you need to make in the coming year after your year end review, it is just as important to figure out what you did that worked and needs to stay the same. You want to keep those good habits just as much as you want to change the bad. You don’t want to derail your career path because you stop doing something that was actually extremely beneficial for you. For example you may think you spent way too much time playing basketball with the other firefighters at your station, but are you wasting time or making connections with people on other shifts? You have to decide what stays and goes, but choose wisely.

  1. Re-evaluate Your Goals

Once you have figured out what you are doing right and wrong it is important to alter and set new goals for yourself. Having goals is a great motivator, but if you never go back and look at your goals and make changes as your life changes you likely won’t meet your goals. For example, if your goal was to be fire chief in five years but you decided to start a family after making that goal, you may need to make some changes to your timeline. There is nothing wrong with changing goals as life goes on. The problem comes when you keep these old goals that you have no way to accomplish or no desire to accomplish as you age and change as a person then shame yourself for not accomplishing them. Another problem is having no goals at all. Goals are motivators. Goals keep you going. They don’t have to be extravagant but you should have something you are going after. 

The Takeaway

So, how was your year? Looking back on your progress or lack thereof the past year can be a very rewarding thing to do. Just remember, everyone moves at their own pace and has their own goals. Try not to compare yourself to others and keep checking in on your own progress and going after your goals. Promoting in the fire service isn’t just something you decide to do one day. It requires planning and time and resources. A self evaluation of your accomplishments and misses is a great starting point to see if you have the time and energy necessary to commit to the fire service promotion process.