New Year, New Job?
It's dark, cold and wet, Christmas is all done and winter stretches ahead. The thought of something new and exciting is very appealing, so resolutions are made. Rule number one - when it comes to career and job, never rush in!
It’s New Year and the obligatory resolutions rear their heads. Some will be tremendous, but most will fall at the first hurdle. So rule number one: never rush in.
Work's an obvious one for winter blues dissatisfaction. Your salary just isn't enough, it's not fair that you haven't been promoted yet, the people you work with are a pain and there are no interesting men or women to get to know. No surprises there - you spend a huge part of your life at work, so of course you want it to be the best it can be.
If it really is time for a change, then make it your number one mission. And start off by pausing to think about what you really want:
Start with a pro’s and con’s list
Define what you enjoy most about work and what you want to keep. Then move onto your complaints and the stuff you want to change. This will give you a first glimpse into how important it is – if the pro’s are the majority, then you can probably put this one out to pasture until next New Year. If the con’s have it, then let's get focused.
Can you get what you want in this workplace?
Always check this first. There might be plenty of opportunity right on your work doorstep if you’re willing to be proactive. If it’s promotion you’re after or an interesting new project, then think of the people who can help and get time in their diaries for a discussion. Sitting quietly and waiting is tempting and at least you don't have to take a risk, but you also may never get what you want. So if you’re really dissatisfied and you can see opportunity out there, get active and go make it happen. Even if it doesn't work this time, you’ve shown you’re determined and ambitious and put yourself on the map.
Is it time for a career move?
Take a step back and think about your career vision - where do you want to get to and how are you doing so far? This will give you a steer about whether it's time for something new to widen your experience or whether you are better sticking for a bit longer. Those in organisations that have plenty of room for growth and development may decide to stay put and move up the ladder in house. If the values, mission and style of the place suit you, then this can be a very good option. If you are a Stable or Consistent Achiever, you may also be much happier and more productive in familiar surroundings
If you can’t see any way to develop yourself in the present workplace and you long for a new challenge, then this is the perfect time to start looking around. Just be very sure you know what you want and why. Be well prepared before you jump to action – you’ll save yourself a lot of time and heartache in the long run.
Recognise it won’t ‘just’ happen
You might be one of the lucky ones and find what you’re looking for straight away. Probably it’s going to take a long time. Prepare yourself to wait for the right job and workplace – there is nothing worse than realising you’ve jumped too fast and it's too soon to add another change to your CV.
We get used to thinking that change is simple. Social media is pre-occupied with the need for everything to be quick and easy. You ‘just’ have to follow this path, listen to this guru, read this book, eat these foods and your life will turn around in the twinkling of an eye. Sadly, few things work this way. You may read about the person who became a millionaire overnight, but when you explore further you find that they’ve been working at it for years. The last step was fast, but it only happened because of the work done beforehand.
So manage your own expectations. If you prepare well and work out what you really want from work, then do the legwork to find the companies that fit you best, you’ll have a great chance of success.
So Happy New Year - and I wish you interesting work in a great company with all the opportunities you want for yourself.
And if you need help or another mind on your challenges, let me know. I'd be delighted to share my thinking and help all I can.
Post your questions in the comments section below, ask us on the Psychologies Facebook and Twitter page or email firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll be posting regularly, answering your questions.