career strategy

Sick of your nine to five? How to love what you do and get the most out of your career Part Four

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

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.

 

Be strategic

 

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.

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Sick of your nine to five? How to love what you do and get the most out of your career Part Three

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Last week we went through some simple exercises to assess if our current job is the right fit, this week we decipher what our ideal job looks like and how we can match these to our strengths and weaknesses.

 

Weaknesses

 

I then set about listing my weaknesses. Knowing the list was for my eyes only I was as honest as I could possibly be and asked myself questions like ‘What do I struggle with?’ and ‘Which tasks take me longer than usual?’ I would encourage you to do this too, as this exercise allowed me to more accurately see and be aware of my limitations at present. The reason this is so handy to know as it might highlight future training needs for your ideal job or, if you have decided to stay in your role, it will point to areas where you would benefit from further development. Likewise, if you really don’t like certain things, evaluating your weaknesses will enable you to better recognize when a potential job is not the right fit for you.

 

Strengths

 

Next I listed my strengths. I asked myself questions such as ‘What do I find easy?’, ‘What am I faster than others at?’ and ‘What comes naturally to me?’ This is no time to be modest – creating such a list will help you better define which jobs would naturally suit you whilst also helping you during the interview process.

 

Lastly I created a skills list which itemized all of my professional skills. This also helped me during interviews but more than that it made me recognize skills I had otherwise taken for granted.

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Sick of your nine to five? How to love what you do and get the most out of your career Part Two

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Last week we examined the health implications of both loving and hating what we do. This week we get practical and explore how we can begin to get the most out of our careers – have a pen and paper ready!

 

Current Job; Likes and Dislikes

 

When I was unhappy at my job in London I took a great deal of time to list everything I liked about my job and everything I didn’t. This may seem a lot like a pros and cons list however it is slightly different as, whilst pros and cons list advantages and disadvantages, my list showed the elements of my job I liked and disliked – which I found a tad more revealing in terms of the direction I might go in, in future. I would encourage you to do a list of your very own – to get you thinking about all the different aspects there is to both like and dislike about a job I have itemized them below :

 

Current job: Like or Dislike?

 

  • Corporate or relaxed environment
  • Large or small company
  • Working alone or as part of a team
  • Level of responsibility (i.e. staff, supervisor, lower management, middle management or upper management)
  • One main task or varied role
  • Is the job busy or quiet and what is your preference?
  • Is there a chance for progression in the company?
  • The actual tasks involved in the job, like or dislike?
  • The compensation package (pay, bonus, pension, car, medical, life insurance, holiday)

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Sick of your nine to five? How to love what you do and get the most out of your career Part One

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Follow your bliss, or at least that’s what people say. I’ve always found this saying really condescending, as if suddenly all the answers would be revealed to me, when in fact, it left me just as clueless as before. In spite of this, in terms of my career I did exactly that, I did any job matching just one criteria – it had to be fun. Unfortunately when I hit twenty nine I realized that ‘following my bliss’ whilst fun, really hadn’t worked out too well. I was living pay check to pay check and in terms of any sort of real accomplishment I had nothing to show for it.  So with the aid of therapy I formulated a plan.

 

I knew I wanted an office job and the type of work I didn’t have to take home. So I sat down and brainstormed. I wrote my weaknesses and strengths down, I listed my skills and my ideal job, even down to the salary. Soon after I became a receptionist at a high brow mergers and acquisitions company in the city of London. Things were going well but I couldn’t help but feel I was able to do more than just tend to meeting rooms, despite the attractive salary. So I took a personal assistant diploma and, disillusioned with London I sought local work.

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