Last week we formulated our ideal job description and compensation package, this week we look at how to best be strategic when it comes to planning our career, the advantages of opting for further training and we’ll explore the ways by which we can maximize our fulfillment at work.
These days when planning your next career move it is important to be strategic. I had to evaluate carefully whether I wanted to take on more responsibility, if I was prepared to work longer hours or have a commute and honestly assess the kind of work / life balance I was seeking. I then had to allow these factors to directly influence which jobs I applied for – no matter how good on my CV that job in London with the long commute and the hectic hours would look.
Equally money doesn’t always equal advancement. Sometimes it is necessary to make a sideways move or even take a pay cut to enter into a career that has more opportunities for rising up the ladder in future or offers you a better work / life balance.
Decipher between the job and the people
One of the reasons why I was able to continue in a job where there was politics is that I made a concerted effort to distinguish between the politics and people and the job itself. That doesn’t mean to say that when I was unhappy I didn’t look for other opportunities, but it did mean that I knew I still liked the job itself and so looked for similar roles, rather than considered a complete career change. I think this way of thinking really helped me to at least enjoy elements of my role whilst I was looking for other work and helped me remain focussed and happier than I would have otherwise been.
Consider further professional training
Next it is a good idea to research professional qualifications and training needed within the industry and / or job role you have decided to pursue. Once you have discovered which courses are the most respected, research how much money and time it would take to complete them and then evaluate whether this is an investment you can make. Lastly, find out whether this is something your company would consider sponsoring – either by paying for the course or allowing you study leave (or both).
If you decide to stay…
If you are happy within your current role and feel no desire to rise up the ladder there are two simple steps you can take to deepen your fulfillment at work.
Firstly list one achievement you derived satisfaction from each day – this will fill you with a sense of progress within your role – a fundamental component of anyone’s happiness.
Secondly list one highlight that happened during the course of the work day – this needs to be related to your work however it could be about those you work with or the work environment as opposed to the work itself. Over time this will train you to seek out and celebrate the positives within your work place rather than letting them pass unnoticed.
Find the silver lining…
Finally, whether you have decided to look for work or have chosen to stay, list everything that is made possible by being in your current job. I do this by looking at my 40 before 40 bucket list as without work I would not be able to do all the items that mean so much to me. It’s also useful to think beyond the financial benefits of the job you have, such as the qualities it’s helped develop in you and how that has potentially impacted other areas of your life. For example, I have had to develop diplomacy skills which have served me well in my relationships outside of work.
Drawing up such a list will motivate you even more if you have decided to stay or help sustain you whilst you continue looking for work. As I often say, learn to seek the silver lining in life and you will always look back and smile.
With work taking up around eighty percent of our time it’s no wonder it has such a profound impact upon our quality of life, for better or for worse. Take these simple steps and reap the benefits of a rewarding career today! By loving what you do, your life will emerge fuller and richer, allowing true happiness to blossom.
Do you like the idea of training further? Have you any of your own tips for maximizing how fulfilled you are at work? Can you see the silver lining and if so what is it? Have you had any breakthroughs in deciding upon the next steps you’ll take in your career? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, support and insight from our community, we’d love to hear from you.
Stay tuned – next month’s hot topic is how to beat procrastination!