blog article on post holiday career blues

Regain your career mojo with the Stay or Go Conversation…

OK, so we’re all back at work after the Christmas break, wondering whether we can do another year of the same thing. Our thoughts may turn to throwing it all in and starting somewhere else. Surely, we think, that new employer will solve all our problems…

Is it time to Exercise your Career Options?

In fact, starting elsewhere is just one of seven valid career options to choose from, and it may not be the best one.

So what are these 7 options? At any one time in our career, we can:

  1. Look for a promotion in our organisation
  2. Move down to a more junior role in our organisation
  3. Jump sideways to a different department at the same level of seniority in our organisation
  4. Stay in our job exactly as it is
  5. Stay in our job and tweak it
  6. Explore possibilities both inside and outside our organisation OR
  7. Leave our organisation and try somewhere else

As I constantly preach, it’s important to forensically examine your key motivators and drivers. If you find that the source of your dissatisfaction is with your actual work tasks rather than a disconnect with your career values or the workplace culture, why not explore your “in-house” options first?

In-house Option #1: A New Broom Sweeps Clean!

Many people feel powerless to make changes to a job they are not happy with. However, it can be done in most instances.

A starting point is to imagine you have just won your current job and to take a “new broom” to it. What changes would you make in the way the job is currently being done?

It’s easiest to tackle changes that don’t need the approval of others. For other changes that need the cooperation of your boss, it is important to present a compelling business case. For example, if you want to learn a new skill, you are more likely to win approval if you can identify a strategic linkage between the new skill and your current job responsibilities.

What if you aren’t sure of what changes to make to the job? Tap into the knowledge and advice of fellow work mates and even expand your network of contacts to explore possibilities.

Once you have clarified your thoughts, you can go to your manager with clear ideas and a pathway. In this way, you are presenting solutions, not problems.

In-house Option #2: How to reduce your hours without losing your seniority

Many people ruin their chances to make a move to part-time work by marching in to their boss and presenting an immediate request to change their role.

A key to success here can be to see the world from the boss’ perspective. What is it that he/she needs to feel comfortable about giving the go-ahead for the change? Your request is more likely to win over your boss if it is accompanied by a well thought-out transition plan. This may need you to think ahead – to identify another employee who could be trained in the tasks and to allow time to complete the training.

Last but not least, success is more likely to go to a valued employee – the more critical you are to the business and the more you are valued as a person, the more likely it is that your boss agrees to the change. So, it’s worth reviewing your current contribution and how you are perceived at work and making any necessary changes well in advance of the request.

Time to Leave Option #3: How to start over again without starting at the bottom

If you are toying with the thought of “reinventing” yourself, take heart. People do it successfully all the time!

Step 1: Ensure that the proposed career change suits the essence of who you are. For example, does it match your skills/interests and is there a good fit with your personality?

This career self analysis is one of the most enjoyable parts of my work with clients. Understanding this critical area will increase the likelihood of you making a successful career transition.

Step 2: Master the Job Search process. As an example, a basic rule of thumb is that “Networking is King” and 65% of new positions are generally picked up using this strategy.

Step 3: Launch a determined and strategic Job Search campaign. Successful career changers have high levels of discipline and it helps to have someone to support and inspire them. It’s a matter of whatever it takes to do the hard yards, keep on track and persist.

Switch from passive discontent to soaring like a bird

A few weeks ago, one of my clients uttered a cry of despair: “I just want to be in a job where I’m happy!” And boy did that resonate with me. When I first selected our company logo, I was a bit hesitant. It felt just the teeniest bit corny – a soaring creature reaching for the stars. But, I’m so glad I stuck with it.

Most of us spend a minimum of 8 hours a day at work and its importance goes far beyond merely providing us with an income. There is endless information and support available to help you manage your career. If you can tap into this knowledge and then implement it, you too can soar and attain your “career” stars.

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