On average we spend one third of our lives working, so how do you respond when what you do no longer feels right? New job or career move?
JOB OR CAREER?
What do ‘job’ and ‘career’ mean to you?
According to diffen.com: “a career is the pursuit of a lifelong ambition or the general course of progression towards lifelong goals. A job is an activity through which an individual can earn money. It is a regular activity in exchange of payment. “Of course there are nuances within the definition: for example, people who have built their career working their way up in the same job in a single company. However, many people go through life migrating from job to job for a variety of reasons, while others are happy sticking to the same one. When you’ve been bored or unhappy at work in the past, reflect on what you felt at the time and what you did about it. Analyse any patterns that appear and you will soon spot whether what you’ve done is to move from job to job without career progression.
ARE YOU TURNING UP JUST TO GET PAID?
If your only motivation is the money, then what you have/ want is a job.
So if you want to be successful and have a worthwhile working life that you can build on and be proud of, now is the time to question yourself. You can’t understand how you need to change, unless you really understand your motivations. Firstly, ask yourself hard questions about your life, your aspirations and values. What do you enjoy doing? Think hard about your current role, about what it is and what it could be. Is fear stopping you from taking that first step in the right direction? There is no need to feel trapped on a certain path because the reality of today’s employment market is that the ‘job for life’ employment model has gone. Ultimately, you are responsible for managing your own career. Use the tips in our article “How to Write a Winning CV: 7 steps”to rewrite your CV from a completely different perspective and then you will have a fresh approach to your skills and talents.
DO YOU BELIEVE IN THE GOALS YOU ARE WORKING TOWARDS?
If you aren’t comfortable with the goals you’re set, then you know you’re in the wrong job.
Analyse the goals that you do agree with and those you don’t. Is there a pattern? If you move to a similar job elsewhere will these goals transfer? If so, or if you can’t stand over your company goals, then chances are it’s the wrong career path too. Cast your net wider and begin by making a list of all the companies you would like to work for, or those whose corporate ambitions chime with yours.What have they in common? Brainstorm ways in which you can make contact with any of them. Interrogate your CV: how can you rewrite it so that those companies will recognise something of themselves in you?
WHEN YOU PICTURED YOUR ‘DREAM JOB’ WAS THIS IT?
It’s only too easy to fall into a job or a particular industry sector.
This may not necessarily be a bad thing; you could be lucky enough to forge the career of a lifetime with ample opportunities and excellent earning potential. But all too often people get trapped, with no real propulsion forward and tend to move from role to role without any real clear direction or motivation. If you’re sure what you’re working at isn’t your dream job, our article “How to Land your Dream Job?” will help you analyse how to find your perfect fit “ whether it’s a new job or career.
ARE YOU USING THE RIGHT SKILLS?
All too often, the competencies we excel at are those that get praised and promoted.
It’s understandable of course: if you’re good at something and can earn a living from it, then why not do so? But what happens when you don’t really like what you do? The skills you’ve acquired and honed may not chime with your natural talents. Could you upgrade your skills and put them to more interesting work within your current job? Then talk to your employer about it: employers appreciate people wanting to increase their performance.
If you know your natural talents have no home in your job, then think about a career change. Be realistic with yourself about your talents, your skills and your genuine interests. Where are the overlaps? Once you understand what would be a meaningful and positive use of your skillset, career options become much clearer.
WHO ARE ‘YOU’ AT WORK?
We all have to maintain a persona at work, that’s fine; as it should be. But when this persona feels like an entirely different personality to the ‘real’ you, it’s a problem you must address.
Do you like who you have to be at work? Do you like the way you deal with your colleagues and co-workers? If the answer is no, then consider whether the problem is the job or career itself, or is your personality not the right fit for this career? What in your role encourages you to behave in ways that don’t chime with the ‘real’ you? Consider your colleagues and how you fit in with them. Work isn’t somewhere where we should look to find new best friends (though it’s great when we do), but you do need to have values in common with colleagues if you are to succeed in common goals. If analysing who you are at work shows you that it’s not right, then analyse your personality and match it up with the types of careers where your traits are valued.