By Kari Mirabal
Thinking of looking for a new job? Then, before you consider salary and office perks, think about your current career position and determine if satisfaction and growth potential rank high on your personal fulfillment ranking. There are a lot of reasons people change jobs but, ultimately, if the position you were hired for isn’t satisfying you and you don’t feel you’re going anywhere professionally or growing personally, that’s when you should consider developing a new plan of action for your career transition.
Out of fear that their perfect job doesn’t exist, some people opt for a new position that neither challenges or excites them. Others simply don’t have the time, desire, or wherewithal to put the work into what it would take to go after their ideal position. Thus, job seekers often don’t take the time to create a plan to reach their objectives. And, if you haven’t developed your plan, finding yourself disappointed with your career decision isn’t uncommon. That’s why every professional, regardless of job status, should conduct their own career assessment annually.
Not sure where to start? Consider these steps to create a plan of action that can put you on the path to finding the perfect job for you:
1. Evaluate Your Dissatisfaction – Take a moment to consider what you don’t like about your current position. Are there opportunities for you to step to the plate and volunteer your time/experience to help the challenge? Successful career professionals look for opportunities to shine and help organizations versus complaining. Be part of a positive change in your workplace – you may be able to fix your own challenges by developing creative solutions to the problems you have identified.
2. Complete a Self-Assessment – What do you enjoy doing at work? What transfer-able skills do you possess? Are there interests, values, abilities, and or specific industries you prefer to work in? Write these thoughts down and use them as a reference for evaluating job offers and positions you proactively apply to. If the job posting doesn’t offer similar skills, chances are you’ll be unhappy in the long run. Don’t settle! Keep searching.
3. Communicate with your manager – Don’t wait for your annual performance appraisal to evaluate your career path. Discuss productivity, career satisfaction, and performance by initiating a conversation with your manager. Ask for recommendations, volunteer to take projects that align with your career goals, develop suggestions to help the company, then offer to drive these initiatives.
4. Continue to Network – Evaluate your professional network and maintain these contacts. Staying abreast of changes in specific industries or fields through contacts you have can help you understand trends. This information is vital during interviews or transitions at your own company. Talk to professionals in your field of interest and ask questions to determine if transitioning into this direction would be beneficial for you and your skills.
5. Seek Career Advice – You work with dentists when your teeth hurt. You work with personal trainers when you need help putting together a fitness program. You take your car to the shop when advice is needed for maintenance. A Career Adviser or Career Coach can discuss your professional objectives and help you develop a plan that works!
Finally, take time to step away and evaluate how you may have outgrown your current position. Try to figure out what’s changed; the actual work requirements and expectations or your personal objectives. If you’re outgrowing your current position, take steps to change direction and don’t give up. Career transition can be difficult but, in the end, the work you put in to create a plan of action can pay off with a perfect new job!
Kari Mirabal is a Career Advisor, IT Recruiter and Speaker specializing in helping individuals clarify their career goals and develop action plans to attain them through career transitions.