I love my job. I hate my job. I love my job. I hate my job.
Every job has its ups and downs; no matter how often you jump from company to company, you’ll find that no one place is perfect. Have you considered that possibly you’re making multiple employment changes but not evaluating why you weren’t happy in your previous position? When you skip that step, you risk making the mistake of joining another company that may very well have the same “faults” as your previous company.
Depending on where you are in your career (i.e., just starting or a seasoned employee), there’s a chance you still don’t know what you want to be when you “grow up.” BEFORE you make your next “jump,” take the time to evaluate where you are and where you would like to be.
When you set goals, it makes it easier to lay out the necessary actions to get there.
If you don’t have a clear picture of where you would like to be, that’s OK. For many, the next career prospect presents itself without any effort from you (i.e., a friend sends you a job lead; something shows up on your LinkedIn, etc.), which can be OK; however, it’s better to be proactive regarding your career. And, if that opportunity does come up, knowing what you want will allow you to make the right decision versus leaping on the wrong option.
If you’re reading this, you’re ready to do the work to have a more straightforward path to your dream career. Taking the time to invest in yourself will put you on the right career path. Remember, no job will be perfect, but the clearer you are on what you want, the closer to “perfection” you will be.
Following are some steps to help get you started:
Think hard about what you REALLY want to do.
Outline your skills and experience to include talking points so you can effectively relay them to a potential employer. Or, if you like the company where you’re currently employed but not using your talents to their full potential, consider talking to your immediate manager. This can be a bit tricky as you don’t want to talk yourself out of a job, but expressing this could be welcome if you see areas where you can help. And when you ask them what you can do to follow the desired path, and it’s a real opportunity within the company, it demonstrates your loyalty. It also shows them your goal is to remain with the company. A good manager will be excited to help you get there.
Decide what motivates you.
With any position, it helps to know, in advance:
- What you absolutely must have
- What you would like but can live without
- What doesn’t matter at all to you
Employers increasingly realize that money isn’t always the deciding factor for quality employees. And, with a forward-thinking mentality, there are options to include in a hiring package that may make one employee happy, but not necessarily another. Customizing to the individual makes sense in many scenarios.
These are some of the factors that many consider before accepting a position.
- The obvious first for many is the salary and any potential bonuses. But again, for some, that can be flexible if other benefits exist.
- Medical benefits are often more important than monetary considerations.
- Growth within the company. And the potential for educational opportunities to achieve development towards that growth.
- Harmony between personal and professional (i.e., work/life balance) is high on many lists.
- Opportunity to partake in developing new products or services. This can be something as basic as participating in a special task team. When you have a valued role in a company’s growth, that respect goes a long way.
- Company culture is another motivating factor. If you’re more comfortable wearing jeans, then an environment where corporate suit attire is required may not be for you. And visa versa. Ask in advance about the culture so you know what to expect. You know yourself best and must include that in your decision-making before accepting a position.