SHOULD YOU CHANGE YOUR CAREER?
Nothing to be done
Well, sort of. You can always be looking at ways to better yourself in your 9-5er. Use this break to reflect on what you’ve achieved, what you love about the job and the areas you want to grow in – the best time for creativity is when you’re not at work. As well as having space to sit back and get out of the business of ‘doing’, a break gives you that space to think of different ideas. While you’re chilling in a hammock on some tropical island (or on a chair in your folks’ backyard) draft up an action plan for the next 12 months. List everything you want out of your job and how you envision getting it. To keep you on track, motivated and feeling like you’re achieving things, break it into a month-by-month plan, ticking each win off as you go. Set a reminder in your phone for the end of each month to go back over the plan, reframe and reinvigorate your ambition.
Time to change jobs
But before rushing the resignation, draft up a pros and cons list of the role. If you have gaps in which you are more unhappy than happy then I would say it’s a good indication for you to start looking for another role. If you’re unhappy with the people you work with but you enjoy the job, an ultimatum of ‘it’s me or them’ won’t always work in your favour – it’s on you to sort the situation out yourself. If you enjoy the work, you don’t have to have a huge career change – you probably already have the right contacts, so hit them up for some intel on who may be hiring in your circles, or approach your favourite companies knowing what you want out of your next role. At the same time, look at any in-office personality mismatches as an opportunity to grow and enhance your emotional intelligence so you can respond in different ways to others. I call it CIA: Control, Influence, Action.
Meet with your manager
Put together a list of your strengths, another of all you’ve achieved and added to the company in the past 12 months, then think about what it is you’re not enjoying about your job. Think about what you want to achieve – it’s no use if you walk into a chat expecting your manager to have all the answers. Meet halfway. If you’ve got a good value match, but there’s a lot of stuff you’re not enjoying about the role, ask your manager if there is something you can do to move into a different role where you can use your strengths, or whether there’s a role that will give you the opportunity to grow more and get the experience to drive you ahead. If you feel down about your gig only when you’re doing the boring admin tasks, your manager can’t change that. Neither can you. Everyone from the office junior up has a part of their job description that is less than glamorous.
Switch your career
This is pretty much the career equivalent of it’s not you, it’s me. You may love the company and feel happy with your co-workers, but if the thought of doing what you do for the next 20 years destroys your very soul, you’ve got to do what’s good for you. Speak to someone in the industry you’re thinking of making a leap to before you do anything. Before spending money on a new degree you think you’ll need, ask whether you’ve got transferable skills. Assess the tools and support you need. This includes the financial aspect, if you find you need to take a role slightly down on the ladder (no career is a straight line to retirement). If this means you have to stay in your role a little bit longer while you put plans in motion, then do it. Allow yourself three months’ salary in your bank account and set a date to make the leap, or you’ll never do it.