Fall in love with your job again

Feb 05, 2018
To reinvigorate your career you do not always have to move jobs, you do have options.

The start of a new year can prompt many to review their career and to consider their options. It is an important process to go through as it helps you to assess if you are where you should be and want to be. Before making a decision to change jobs, a key consideration is whether you are making the most of your existing role and the opportunities that might exist with your current employer. A change of organisation is not always required to maximise your career potential.

Here are some tips to ensure you are making the most of your current role; your dream job could be right under your nose.

Career conversations

A good starting point for this process is to have a career conversation with your manager. Let them know that you want to advance and develop your career. Take control and ownership of your career development.

Establish when new roles are likely to arise and ask to be considered for these opportunities. Don’t assume that you will automatically be considered. Clearly articulate the fact that you are actively interested in new opportunities.

Get your manager’s input in relation to what you need to do to make that next internal move. What skills and competencies will you need and what are they likely to be looking for when promoting internal candidates? Establish what you can be doing in the meantime to demonstrate that you have the skills and potential to progress.  It is essential that you fully understand what will be expected of you to make the next move. Work with your manager to set clear goals and objectives for the year ahead that will enable and support your career development. 

Volunteer for projects

Ensuring that the decisions makers are aware of you, your interest in taking on a new challenge and gaining more experience is imperative. Know who the decision makers are and make it known to them that you are ambitious. Getting involved in key projects is an excellent way of showcasing your capabilities, gaining new experience and broadening your internal network. It can often be a stepping stone to the next stage of your career.

Upskill in a structured way

In a rapidly changing work environment it is critical to up-skill on a continuous basis. The key to this process is to understand what skills and competencies are in demand, assess your skills in these areas and then make an informed and targeted decision in relation to what skills and competencies you need to work on. Don’t just undertake training for the sake of it. Be strategic and concentrate on where the demand is and where the gaps are for you. This will ensure that you are making the most of the time and money you invest in training. It will lead to the best career outcomes for you. Ask if your employer is willing to support your training both financially and in other ways such as enabling you to utilise new skills in your role as well as potentially providing study leave.

Get a mentor

Obtaining a mentor is a key part of a successful career strategy. Consider who within your organisation has the potential to be a valuable mentor to you. Who do you look up to? What position or role are you aspiring to? Ask that person to act as your mentor. In most cases they will be flattered and very happy to support and guide you. You will have the opportunity to learn from their experiences and insights. Not only that, you can also leverage their network and they can also help to champion and sponsor your career development within the organisation. It is also an excellent way to demonstrate your commitment to growing your career.

Network

This is also a good time to consider if you have been making the most of the professional network within your current organisation. Have you made a point of getting to know the key decision makers? Do they know what you are capable of and that you are interested in advancing your career? If not, now is the time to do so. Make it your business to identify who the decision makers are and then look at ways that you can start to connect with them. Before doing so plan what it is that you are going to say.  Have a short pitch ready that will explain your skillset and show your interest in a new challenge. This is often referred to as your ‘Elevator pitch’. Be prepared to make the most of any impromptu meetings that may arise. It could make a big difference to your career.

Make your voice heard

Now is also the ideal point at which to consider if you are letting your voice be heard. By this I mean are you speaking up at meetings and contributing? Are you letting your opinions, ideas and suggestions be heard? Sometimes complacency can set in if you have been in a role for a number of years but if you are serious about making the most of your career potential you need to speak up and find your voice again. Prepare well in advance of meetings and consider how you are going to contribute and how you can make an impact. This is an instant change that you can make that can result in positive career outcomes for you.

Overview

The aim of this piece is to demonstrate that to reinvigorate your career you do not always have to move jobs. An environment that you are accustomed to is often the best place to take on a new role or challenge. You are very familiar with key elements of the organisation, the people and systems as well as the political landscape and this is often more conducive to successful career outcomes. It is a safe training ground that will enable you to develop and learn new skills which you can then potentially use to navigate your next career move.