Christmas is over, the Boxing Day sales have exhausted you and now you’re off on a holiday or planning on spending a few days before going back to work. If you’re like a lot of Aussies, you want to put 2012 behind you and just kick back and relax for the next couple of weeks. However, a bit of thought now about your career and your future can save you some significant stress in a few month’s time.
Right now, as you’re reading this, think about your current job. Have you hated going to work this year? Have you been looking forward to this holiday so much it’s ridiculous? Do you dread returning to work? Do you get that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach when you think about seeing “the team” again? This is really not a good sign so don’t ignore those feelings. Unless some big changes are ahead for either the company, their people, or you, things are not going to get any better.
So do something now. Start planning.
I’m not saying you should start feverishly looking through Seek for jobs and using your holiday to send out resumes. In fact, entirely the opposite! Knee-jerk reactions rarely ever work and a hasty decision probably got you in this job in the first place. Instead of repeating the past, put some quiet time away to plan your future.
Answer these questions:
- What do you like about your current job?
- What do you hate?
- What are deal-breakers? (a deal-breaker may be a lot of travelling interstate, or shift work)
- What type of job do you want?
- What sort of boss do you work best with? (someone who is mentor, someone who gives strong direction, or something who lets you do your own thing).
- What do you want your next job to be (title, job tasks) and if you think your wish-list is realistic.
- What are the obstacles to you leaving your current job? (economy, reduction in income, seen as too old or too young).
- What are the benefits of you leaving your current job?
- What skills do you need to get the job you want?
- Do you have any skills voids? If yes, how can you develop those skills?
Give some decent thought to this and then set an exit-strategy timeline and work towards it. Write it down in capitals “I WANT TO BE GONE FROM THIS JOB IN: MONTH/YEAR”
Then write a list of all you need to do to achieve that goal. For instance, renewing old acquaintances who can help you with information or provide you with an ‘in’ to your next job. Your future success may be tied to them; so start renewing your friendships now. Look for them on LinkedIn; it’s summer, so people are more relaxed and have the time to chat online. Maybe you could even meet for a coffee and get ‘caught up’. Keep these relationships going as part of your long-term plan. Does your resume need refreshing/updating? Plan to have that done professionally and give yourself the necessary time to collaborate with your writer to get something that represents you and of which you can be proud.
January in Australia is a time for strategy and planning.
Don’t find yourself in March remembering how much you hate your job, wishing you’d set the exit strategy in place and getting to that desperate stage where something, anything would be better than this!