By Marielena Sabatier, Founder, Inspiring Potential
New research from the Institute of Leadership and Management highlights that 37% of workers hope to find new jobs in 2015.
If you are one of these people who is feeling stuck in a career rut, then January is the time to take action.
Here are 10 tips to help you focus on achieving your goals and fulfilling your potential at work this year.
1. Before taking drastic action and changing jobs immediately, do some soul searching to work out what makes you tick. There is no point in making changes if you don’t know what you want out of your career.
2. To work out the best job for your skills and personality, ask yourself if your contribution at work is adding value to your organisation. Do you get the chance to use your skills most of the time? Does the role play to your strengths? Does it make you feel valued? If the answer is no, then it is time to rethink.
3. Ask yourself big questions: What is important to me in my role? What would make my role meaningful? What am I motivated by and passionate about? When I last felt really motivated, what was it about the situation created that state?
4. Look for ways of recreating the situation when you felt really motivated within your current role. If you value creativity, then be creative, look for new ways of doing things; suggest new ideas and ways of working to your boss.
5. Add meaning to your role by using your experience and skills to help junior colleagues or members of your team grow and develop. Nurturing someone will not only boost their confidence, it will make you feel valued and recognise the skills and experience you have and the contribution you make.
6. Ensure you are working in an environment that suits your values and beliefs. Remember you spend more hours at work than anywhere else. Do you respect the values and ‘beliefs’ of the company and are they ‘lived’ by the employees? Respecting your company’s culture and values can make you feel proud of where you work and encourage a feel good factor.
7. Take charge of your professional development in 2015 – it is your responsibility; don’t let your career meander, if you have a development plan stick to it. If you don’t have a training plan, then bring it up with your boss. Don’t wait until your annual appraisal to speak to them. Remember the only person that will really suffer if you stand still or fail to speak up is you.
8. Ask for feedback from your boss, from co-workers and from customers. Feedback is not only reassuring, it will help you grow and develop. Too often we second guess what our boss and our colleagues think; which can lead to unnecessary misunderstandings.
9. Focus on the positive – you can choose to be happy and you can practice positive thinking. Surround yourself with people who are happy to be at work – it will rub off.
10. Negativity is very contagious so don’t get sucked into office politics. Instead, try and think about the aspects of the work you like and train yourself to look at situations in a more positive way.
However, if you really feel disillusioned with your role and see no way of incorporating new aspects into it, then why not see if there are new roles within the company or if a new role could be created for you. If you feel completely stuck and unsure about what you want to do, then go back to basics and think about a career change.
Think back to your childhood dreams and ambitions – what did you want to be when you grew up? Very often they tell us a great deal about what we are passionate about, interested in and what we are good at. How far are you from your ideal job today and do your dreams still excite you?
Look at where your career is now and the skills and experience you might need to switch to your dream jobs. Research the qualifications you need and ask yourself if it is really practical to retrain now or does this switch need to be carefully planned out over time – a long term goal.
Talk to people working in the field you want to get into. Find out what they enjoy about their jobs and ask them about what they do in detail. People are generally flattered to be asked about and willing to give advice and time to people interested in them.
Find a career coach to help you through your network or through word of mouth referral. This will sharpen your insight about your talents, skills and strengths. It will also help you find ways to powerfully illustrate these to maximise their impact on others when you tell them.
Talk to people who love their jobs and who inspire you. Rubbing shoulders with passionate people will motivate you and remind you to stick to your goals.
Lastly, when you do find out what you want to do network, network, network – talking to people working in the field can uncover a hidden jobs market, they make introductions, recommendations and could open doors that could hold the key to your future.