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Do you realise how far you’ve come in your career?

Do you realise how far you've actually come in your career?

I was lucky enough to have had the opportunity to live and work in Hong Kong between 2006 and 2008, but hadn’t been back to Hong Kong since returning to Australia until a few weeks ago.

I have to admit it was quite surreal going back after four years. Sure “Asia’s World City” had undergone a few cosmetic changes. The 114-storey International Commerce Centre – which I’d once seen as a giant hole in the ground – now stood in all its glory towering over Victoria Harbour. And a few of the world’s leading fashion labels had opened new flagship mega stores.

But when I walked past my old dry cleaner, the old woman behind the counter waved to me as if it had only been a few days since I last dropped my shirts off, and the little hole in the wall juice bar where I used to get my daily fresh juice was just as chaotic as I’d remembered. The humidity was beyond horrendous, the crowded streets and bright neon signs were still a complete sensory overload, and the pollution was as shocking as ever.

It was almost as if nothing had changed.

And yet standing in my hotel room, looking out the window at Hong Kong, I realised how much I had changed and how much I had achieved in the four years since I’d left.

Strangely enough, it took re-visiting a past time and place in my life for me to really appreciate how much I have accomplished both personally and professionally since then.

Now think about your career for a moment. Even if your surroundings haven’t changed all that much in the last few years, what have you achieved? What progress have you seen in your career? Have you been recognised for your efforts? But most important of all, are you proud of your accomplishments? And are you content with where you stand in your career today?

Often we are far too harsh on ourselves. Often we are by far our worst critics.

Career progress and professional development remain key to feeling a sense of personal success.

Sometimes we can get far too caught up in the current week, month, quarter or even year and feel that we are not where we should be “by now”.

But take a step back, take a mental break, and look out of your metaphorical hotel room window. Think back to where you may have been standing a few years ago.

Hopefully now you’ll see a different picture.

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