DECIDING WHEN TO MOVE ON...
Hello ladies! HAPPY HUMP DAY! Once again, it's #WCANWednesdays, and our lovely contributors have so much wisdom to share. Today, our contributor Liz shares some advice on stagnating careers, and when it is time to move on!
This question is relevant to almost every aspect of our lives, but today I'd like to focus on our careers.
To be clear, I enjoy what I do; my coworkers are pleasant, the environment isn't hostile, the workload isn't excessive and it provides me with invaluable experience. However, it isn't challenging me anymore. I'm too comfortable, and comfort married with a stalled career progression is slowly extinguishing the flames of ambition, and satiating my hunger for success.
I can't say that in say six, twelve or eighteen months what I will be doing will be drastically different to what I'm currently doing, and that's a great concern. Without a goal or a purpose, how can one move forward? How does one even know they're moving in the right direction?
Feeling happy and motivated to go to work every day makes the actual working part far more enjoyable. If you've reached the point where you're no longer motivated to perform, and are not developing new skills, seeing an increase in earnings, perhaps it is time to start looking elsewhere.
The foremost question is how? How do you move on? First, you have to know what you want in your new environment. If we aren’t clear and assertive about what we want, the search will be futile, and you will end up settling for whatever is thrown at you. When scouring the job market think about the key criteria the new role has to fulfil when making your decision. It is not just about your ability to do the job that's advertised, what can the job do for you?
I must admit, I currently struggle with knowing what I want from my new role, and a lot of will face this issue at some point in our career. We will want to move on, but we're unable to answer the question, "What next?" The idea of working for one company for a considerable time in our career is fast becoming extinct. The Association of Accounting Technicians commissioned a study into our working lives and found that the average person will have six different jobs within their life time.
I think for millennials that number will be higher - a lot of us will have had weekend and part-time jobs as teenagers. Some internships while at university, or an entry level position while we gained experience post-graduation.
If you're still trying to figure out what next, remain open minded, try new things and put yourself in situations which force you outside of your comfort zone. You may meet some great friends, or potentially a love interest, but trying new things gives you a broad idea of the working environment you enjoy the most, and that can lay the foundation for which roles you apply to in the future.
I know that I work best in an environment that allows me to feel comfortable and express myself. I prefer colleagues within a similar age range and the company culture needs to be sociable and friendly. Most importantly, I need to know that there is excellent progression, and earning potential.
Being able to identify these has given me a strong bargaining position. I know what my ideal work environment is and I take all this into consideration and ask the appropriate questions when researching or interviewing. I'm willing to be patient and not just accept any job offer that's thrown in my direction without proper consideration.
We spend such a large amount of time working that it's important to have a clear outline of what brings us joy, what can be negotiated, what should be avoided. It is unlikely that we will find a role which ticks all the boxes, but we can identify which roles meet our key needs.
-Liz Liz is a Law Graduate from KCL, currently working as a Financial Analyst and an aspiring Care Free Black Girl. Follow her on twitter here