Navigating the ‘New Year, New Career’

It’s nearly March (HOW?) and a lot of us might be feeling a little lacklustre about where we are at this point in time.

The New Year is often synonymous with new goals, change and a reinvigorated lease on life. This year will be the year that you make changes, get healthy, change careers or ask for that pay rise. Have we done anything about it yet, or did we start the year with high aspirations of making those changes, only to easily fall back into the routine that you departed with only 12 weeks ago?

Some of you might have been chomping at the bit to go back to work in order to get away from the family, kids, fights, food and drinks and to use your brain again. While others may have woken on that first morning back with a feeling in your gut that is strongly urging you to hit ‘snooze’, call in sick, or even write up your resignation letter. You might still be waking up in that state.

If you fall into the latter part of this group and going to work is the last thing you feel like doing, writing your resignation letter out of emotion, impulse or because you have had a taste of the ‘free’ lifestyle probably isn’t the best way to go about things. But there are some steps you can take and mindset changes that you can implement that can help make the working day a little bit easier.

1.     Gratitude

We all know the feeling in the pit of our stomachs at 5.30am when our alarms go off, dreading going to work spending another 8 – 10(+) hours of your life doing something that no longer lights your fire.

Today, while you were groaning about having to head into work for a paid job that enables you to live, 680,000 people in Australia woke up willing to do anything for a job.. I can guarantee you that if everyone put their problems on the table with the opportunity to switch situations, you would take your own back.

2.     Make the most of time

If you are actively looking for work, use the remaining time you have in your organisation to learn as much as you can. You joined the company for a reason and I’m going to hazard a guess that there is at least one person in the organisation that you could learn something from.

Change a process, get a mentor, join a project team, put your hand up for a new task, voice your opinion in a meeting, learn a new skill, or make an effort to work closely with other teams and divisions. The more experience and exposure you can get within your current organisation, the better position you are in to find a new role and you can add a few more bullet points to your resume.

You might even find that there are other opportunities within the organisation that interest you or you may learn what you do / don’t want from your next position. No experience is bad experience.

3.     Don’t drop the ball

All too often, employed job seekers get sloppy. They know that their weeks are limited so they begin to let their standards slip and take less pride in the job. Their work gets messy, they turn up late, mistakes are made, dress standards slip and they have a conceited attitude, often openly voicing their opinions to co-workers.  

What they fail to realise is that they are still employed by the company, they are still a part of the team and when the time does come to leave, they will need a reference in order to secure another role. Your employer shouldn’t know from your actions that you have lost interest in your role and you always want to make sure that you leave an organisation on good terms.

The worst thing you can do while looking for another role is to bad mouth your current employer and show disinterest in your work. Maintain your integrity and give your employer and your work the respect they deserve, even up until your last day. You never know where you might end up in the next 5 – 10 years, or where your managers and co-workers will be.

4.     Take this time to plan

You may have already decided that you want a new opportunity. You need something fresh and you need something soon. Take this time to understand what aspects of your current role, organisation and manager you enjoy and what factors are driving the need to leave.

These points will help push you in the right direction of where to go next and can act as a checklist when applying and interviewing for roles to ensure you get the characteristics that you desire.

For example, if you thoroughly enjoy working with your manager but greatly dislike the rigidity in hours, questions to ask in interviews should be based around the management style of the direct manager and the company’s policy on flexible working. If they don’t meet what you are looking for, you know it’s not the right opportunity for you.

Every experience is a good experience. Whether it’s a positive situation or a learning opportunity, following these simple steps will enable you to view your current role in a positive light, while acting as a kick-starter to reach your career goals for 2019.

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