New year! New Challenges! Same Job? New Job? January starts as many career searches as it starts exercise programs. Start your January with personal discovery to understand how you can both look for a job and still succeed at your current job. The secret to understanding if you need a new job or to remain with your current job is to do well at both.
How do I feel when I go to work? This is easily one of the best and most effective tests to see if you need a new job. Ask yourself, “How do I feel when I am at my desk, on the phone, in a meeting, and working on my job duties?” If you are excited when you go to work, like your colleagues, are proud of your companies work, and are satisfied with your pay and benefits, then you are probably in the right company and role. If you like the company, but do not like your role, then it is time to find a new job internally within your existing company. If you are unhappy, then the best step is to start looking at what you do every day.
Compare your job description to what you do. Look up your current job description and the major tasks that go along with your job. Next, write down what you spend your time and effort on. Finally, compare what you were hired to do and what you spend your time doing. Do the best you can to quantify the time spent in different activities using meetings, conference calls, and other appointments to quantify the time spent. The purpose of this “job analysis” is to compare what you were hired to do versus what you do. A lot of people’s job unhappiness stems from a disappointment that they do not actually do what they were hired to do.
Share your role analysis results with your boss. When your analysis is complete, share your comparison in terms of time and tasks on what you were hired to do versus what you spend your days doing. If there is a large disparity between your role expectations and your role’s actual duties, then that is a priority for a discussion between your boss and you. Your job roles and responsibilities may have changed, so your job roles, responsibilities, and pay requirements may need to be rewritten and reevaluated. Additionally, if you are dissatisfied, then the difference between your boss’s expectations and your actual duties may explain a great deal of your unhappiness in the role. This open & honest discussion with your boss is essential to succeed in your current job because you and your boss must have a discussion on how you spend your time. Stay or go, aligning your duties to your boss’s expectations must be a high priority to start the new year.
Discover what other companies & roles need your skill sets. With a comparison between your actual duties and job requirements, start to discover and explore other companies and roles that need your skill sets. LinkedIn, Indeed, Glass Door, and other career sites can help you with these searches and discovering what else you can do. These career sites show you the names of companies, roles, industries, and geographic locations where your skill sets, and career desires are in demand. Use your analysis, find the key words, and then use those key words to search on different companies and roles. Technology types, software names, business frameworks, and analytical methodologies are all strong start points for your search.
Start the networking journey to understand the role potential. Once you understand companies and geographic locations that need your skills, then start networking to learn more about the company, more about the role, and make internal connections before you apply. A common mistake is to apply, then network. Instead, network, arrange informational interviews, and do a wide search for people inside the company that can support your applications and interview sessions.
Decide: Stay or Go. If you decide to leave your current role, then start immediately with the networking, job application, and interviewing process. As an absolute, do not fall prey to the new career “tradition” of ghosting. Ghosting is a relatively new job phenomenon where people leave a role with no notice and no communication with management. They just leave and never come back with no communication to anyone at the company. If you decide to leave, give at least two weeks’ notice and give an honest exit interview why you left.
Making a career leap is hard. The grass will certainly not always be greener. However, understanding if you are happy or not at work, understanding what your skills are, and understanding if you want to try something new will always translate into a more successful career.
How Did You Find Your Next Job? Share Your Story!
About the Author: Chad Storlie is a Retired US Army Officer, the author of Combat Leader to Corporate Leader and has published over 360 articles in over 185 publications on military veterans, career advancement, business, leadership, strategy, education, financial planning, and national security topics. Chad excels as an author, mentor, speaker, and teacher showing business leaders and military veterans how military skills make lives, careers, and businesses better. Chad is an adjunct Professor of Marketing at the University of Minnesota – Carlson School of Management. Chad has a BA from Northwestern University and an MBA from Georgetown University. Follow Chad @CombatToCorp and www.CombatToCorporate.com.
You must be a registered user to add a comment. If you've already registered, sign in. Otherwise, register and sign in.