Whether we believe in New Year’s resolutions or not, the New Year does bring a level of reflection for us all and for a lot of us this is around our career.
Personally, I know all too well the feeling that many will be having this week; the dread in the pit of your stomach every time you think about going back to work or the refreshment and rejuvenation you got from the break, gone as soon as you get back to your desk.
If you can relate to this, it may be time to really reflect and take action. Why start another year in this predicament when a new opportunity may be around the corner, it was for me. There are a few things I reflected on and questions I asked myself that I think will help make your decision much clearer:
What are the things that are important for me to look back in 5 years and say I have achieved?
5 years is a long time in any career and a great deal can be achieved so are you on the right path? It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day of a job you are not fully engaged in and you can easily slip into auto pilot. It could be a job title, a certain level in career progression or self-development you are striving for. For me, it was around the goal of personally impacting business growth that motivated me into seeking out a new position. If your 5 year goals do not align with the position you are in today, it might be time to get back on track.
Am I playing to my strengths?
I am a big believer that playing to your strengths, whilst chipping away at areas of development, will propel you forward in your career. In sport, you play in the position you are best at to enable you to contribute to the overall success of the team, the same can be said in business. If you are not focused on something you are good at or passionate about then you will not push yourself to the best of your ability, so in comes auto pilot again. From strength comes confidence and from confidence comes success.
Do I aspire to be my leader?
Taking the personal aspect out of it, looking at your leader and asking yourself if you aspire to be them professionally. From my own personal experience, when working under a leader that did not inspire my career goals, I was not truly engaged in the role I played in their team and I did not push myself to go the extra mile to achieve their goals, or my own. Being aligned with the overall business and leadership objectives will inevitably help you succeed in your career.
What have I learnt in my current role and could this positively impact a new role?
Take some time to reflect on the role you are in, the challenges you have faced and what you have learnt from these experiences. You might really surprise yourself on how much you have developed professionally and give you an entirely new perspective on the current role you are in, or inspire you to apply these skills in a fresh environment. A new role can be daunting and the fear of starting over can sometimes put you off a new role completely. Identifying all the areas you have grown and improved in can really give you the confidence to take the plunge.
Asking yourself these questions will hopefully make career decisions that bit clearer. Why not use the opportunity a New Year brings, assess whether you are truly on track for your career goals, or is it time to make a fresh start?