Use career planning to unlock your career potential
If you are unhappy with your current job or feel that your career is not progressing in the right direction then you need to take control by using career planning to find the right job for you, which is heading in the right direction to enable you to live the life that you want to live.
The first step in career planning is to take yourself seriously and acknowledge that you are worth it, and you are the only one who can create the life you want. In order to make the hard and potentially difficult choices needed to change you have to decide that finding meaning in your life is important and not a luxury reserved for a lucky few.
Are any of the following typical of your current role?
- never-ending to-do lists
- meaningless assignments
- pointless meetings
- colleagues who don’t care
- new projects that seem destined for failure
- unrelenting company politics
- lack of promotion or recognition of talent
- low pay
- poor job prospects
- unreasonable bosses
If you have said yes to one or more of the items on the above list then you need to take action today to change your career.
Try answering the following questions to help you learn about and change your situation.
- Why are you in your current job?
Why are you in the situation you are in? Did you end up in your current job by choice or default? Are you fulfilling a promise made to your family or others? Are you in a career you chose when you left school? Take some time to assess how you got into your current situation without blaming anyone or anything— take a rational look at what has brought you to this point.
- Does anything about your current life work?
Are there moments of fulfilment, meaning, or joy in your work? Can those moments be expanded through doing them more often in your current job, or by seeking a new job that would provide more of those experiences? Can you craft a better job within your current job?
Don’t forget to consider your life outside your work. Where else do you find happiness and meaning? Are there elements of your personal life that influence your attitude about your work—either positively or negatively?
As you ponder these questions, do you think it’s time for a major life overhaul—perhaps a new job, move to another location, or other significant change? Or are there some small but important changes you could make now?
- What would you rather be doing and how would you prefer to live?
Do you have a dream? Something that you really want to do?
- Try writing about your ideal life: how would you be living?
- Start a list of “must-haves” in your new life/employment situation.
- Make a list of your talents and strengths and start to identify potential employers.
- Notice moments of jealousy or envy: what does someone else have that you would like? Who do you admire? How might you move toward what they have?
- What would you do if you won the lottery?
- Identify elements that might improve your life and incorporate them into your present life.
- What steps could you take now (or have you taken) to move toward your new life?
This is where the contemplation ends and action begins. If you are full of ideas, but not moving forward you need to examine this. Making major life changes is hard and important—and we all tend to resist what is hard and important.
Answering these questions should help you to think more clearly about your current situation and what steps you need to take to change your career for the better. Talk to a close friend for objective advice. Avoid discussing your ideas and plans with people who might have a vested interest in you remaining the same. There is a time to bring them into the conversation, but if you do it too early, you might remain stuck.
For more information on how Executive Transitions can support you with your career planning contact Debbie Wright (firstname.lastname@example.org)