The job market is always changing. And the way we approach our work and opportunities for career growth go hand in hand in determining what’s next for our journey. In fact, this month it was shown people are positive about the job market and are looking for their next quality job opportunity.
What does this mean for you?
It means you should challenge yourself to not be comfortable with just being content about where you are in your career. I’m not saying you should actively be seeking out interviews for a new job (unless you determine that’s the right next step) but you should be re-examining where you sit, what you want and what the plan is moving forward.
Can you imagine just staying in the same spot out of sheer comfort and not pinpointing where you want to go and how you want to grow?
Sounds like a recipe for ending up annoyed and frustrated once you realize it’s too late.
Rate Your Responsibilities & See What This Tells You:
Do you ever go home from work and have no idea what exactly you did for 8 hours?
Sure, you know you were busy but bust doing what? It’s important to take a step back and really understand what your day to day looks like.
Compile a list of all your responsibilities, down to the specifics even if it’s not a daily routine, and rate them on a scale from 1–10 (1 being the easiest, 10 being the most difficult).
It’s vital to take a step back and visually see what your job entails. You may be surprised at how much you’re actually doing compared to what you think you were doing.
Or you’ll notice where there are opportunities to grow in your role.
Is there anything you are missing from this list that you want to be doing? Are there tasks on here you don’t enjoy?
Start prioritizing a list of ideal responsibilities and research what job those would match. Is there an ability to add these skills to your current role? Perhaps this warrants a discussion with your boss.
Don’t get lost in the day to day weeds, come up for air, put your actions to paper and see how your job duties look in a visual format.
Think Long Term & What Your Future Means:
When people talk about dream jobs it’s easy to get caught up in larger than life careers that might not be tangible, but as we are constantly growing into our careers, the image of what a “dream job” looks like becomes slightly clearer.
Research what this dream job looks like compared to your current skill set and where you need to be to achieve this. Are there opportunities at your current role that will allow you to continue learning?
A majority of employers offer continuing education for their employees which is a huge incentive. Discuss with your boss if this is an option for you to explore. (If it’s not, help your boss understand why it’s so important to you and ultimately for them).
If there is an opportunity to add skills to your current job that will not only benefit you but also your company, talk to your boss. There is nothing like the present to continue learning.
Determining what else you would like to be doing at work isn’t a quick answer. Take your time brainstorming about various skills, projects and tasks you would like to know more about or would want to incorporate into your everyday life.
This will tell you a lot about where you are and where you want to be.
Optimal Times to Begin Job Searching:
If this exercise leads you to determine that you should invest in finding another career path then you know what your immediate next steps are, so congrats!
Make sure you update your resume, so it reflects your most recent work history and since you already mapped out what your current role looks like, it will be easy to write out a comprehensive job description.
Job openings and applicant pools can vary depending on the time of year. Typically, applicant pools are generally lower as people wait out the holidays during the end of a fiscal year since it’s already busy with holiday vacation and the potential for receiving bonuses.
Research your city and take stock into what jobs are trending and where the best opportunities for putting steam into your search efforts.
Remember, job searching, and applications will feel like a full-time job in itself. It can be draining and seem never-ending but keep in mind that it’s part of the process in moving forward.
Be sure to do your homework up front so you aren’t mindlessly clicking “apply” to anything that seems remotely interesting.
Be intentional with what you apply for because at this point you have a vision for what you want in your future. Grow to that vision.
Don’t Get Stuck in a Rut:
It’s easy to get sucked into the mundane 9–5 work day and not stop to peer over our computer screens. We get used to comfort and it becomes easy over time. But something being easy doesn’t challenge you.
If you’re constantly stopping and taking a strategic look at what your job duties are and what these duties mean to your overall career, the easier it will be over time to make the dream job a reality.
All stopping points lead to the continual growth or your personal adventure.