Coming to the decision that you need to change your career or make a move outside of your company, and even possibly outside of your city is a terrifying conclusion for many of us. Maybe you are in a dead-end job or one that is not a good match, or maybe you are struggling with a boss that is difficult. Feeling terrified is a normal response to big change. You are not unique. You probably have not made bad choices. You just have missed better opportunities. It is the ebb and flow of work and evolution in your development as an employee. Afterall, you know more now than you did when you began this position. Boredom comes from lack of challenge, and lack of challenge stems from conquering tasks. It might just simply be time for something new.
Many of us hit out professional stride in our forties, but some of us at this time in our lives are just realizing that we are bored, and/or unwilling to sacrifice work-life-balance. We want something more. We might feel trapped that this is it; the only position we will have for the rest of our work life. But we are internally searching for something more, and often feel stuck if we can't create it. This short blog is a primer for helping you get unstuck quickly. There are a number of steps you can take to ensure that you never get in this situation, or get out of it quickly when you have that creeping sensation that something is amiss.
First you want to assess your skills. Do you have the necessary skills to make a change? Do you have a support network, and do you have enough human energy to create a new you? If you don't have the necessary skills, are you willing to learn them? Being willing and able to learn new things will positively influence the rest of your life. People with a growth mindset are more likely to live longer, healthier, happier lives.
Second, you need to develop a plan which should include resources. You are about to leave your dependable position for something unknown. Do you have the support of your family and will your bank account sustain a change without putting undue stress on your finances? You should assess your risk tolerance and do you have an emergency fund if it takes longer than you anticipate? If not you might want to wait until you can save for a few months. Having an emergency fund will sustain you if the searching goes longer that you anticipate. It is wise to have 3-6 months of your current salary in liquid savings.
Third, you should update your resume, cover letter, and all of your social media accounts to ensure that they are polished and professional. You should research new positions in the area and industry where you plan to apply. Are you seeking out a better position in a better industry? Are your skills as polished as you would like, and are you really, really ready for the interview? The interview may be by phone, zoom or onsite. These styles are all very different and you need to be able to perform well at each of them, if you wish to advance to the next round. You do have competition, and your mom is not doing the interview! You need to be able to convince a room full of professionals that you are results oriented, approachable, consistent, strategic, visionary, and customer centric. And, this is just the short list. Do you know your potential challenges and your obvious strengths?
Have you rehearsed your answers? All of these tips will help you when the timing is right and you have been chosen as a candidate. Until then, don't give up hope. Work difficulties happen to each of us at some point. It is how we react to the difficulty that determines our true measure of strength. Don't let your job define you.
This should be enough to get you started or deter you forever. Don't let it. Remember nothing changes, if nothing changes. Assess your risk to reward and begin your research. You don't know what you might find, until you look.
www.AdmissionNetwork.org is a coaching and consulting firm for executives and professionals.