Remember the days when you were still in education and you were excited about the prospect of getting your first job and that first proper payslip? Do those thoughts seem like a distant memory? Now you’ve got that job, perhaps the novelty has worn off a little and you’ve started to think “is this it?”
Part of you may be thinking that you should ride things out in the hope that things will get better. After all, you should be grateful that you have a job and you have a bonus to look forward to. The other part of you senses that the grass is greener elsewhere and that feeling won’t go away.
The danger is that you may have started to form opinions about ‘work’ based on your current job
. The more you settle into a view that ‘this is just the way work is’, the harder it is to challenge and change that belief. So while you’re still young and fresh faced, it’s important to remain open to a better future.
Here are 10 signs that it may be time to move on:
1. Work has become a chore rather than a challenge.
2. That Monday morning feeling has now started on Friday nights.
3. You don’t feel that you can be your true self at work.
4. You have regular conversations with friends about what you could do instead.
5. Your confidence is starting to ebb away.
6. You feel that you can’t relax outside of work because you’re constantly thinking about work, but not in a good way.
7. Your partner or family tell you that you’ve lost your spark.
8. The company values don’t match your own.
9. You have a poor relationship with your boss.
10. There’s a negative vibe.
So if any of the above resonates with you, here are a few things you can do to smooth your transition to pastures new:
1. Identify your core values
, i.e. what is important to you about ‘work’ – usually it’s the opposite of the things that annoy you most about your current job.
2. Identify the skills you enjoy using
– you may be using a range of skills
in your job but are they the skills that really make you come alive? If you’re struggling to nail them, try my online skills card sort
3. Who do you like to surround yourself with?
– you may still want to be an Accountant, Solicitor or Engineer but are you in the right sector? Studies have shown that people prefer to be in a work environment with people of similar character e.g. creative, investigative or enterprising.
4. Make your job search targeted
– you can only do this if you know the type of work you’d like to do. Too many job seekers use the scattergun approach but this has never been the best use of time. Focus on one sector or even a small number of employers.
– if you want to find out more about a particular type of work, start talking informally to people who do that work. Research must come before job search. Use your existing contacts and social media (e.g. LinkedIn, Wizbii
) to make connections.
. Set yourself mini goals
– job searching is time consuming. Once you realise this it can be all too easy to procrastinate. Ironically, your hideous job will get in the way. So set yourself a realistic goal of how much time you are going to take each week to research and job search
7. Avoid negative references to your employer
– it can be all to tempting to vent your spleen in a job interview or on social media. However, a potential future employer will give you a wide berth if they see or hear such negativity, regardless of how true your comments may be. Keep your professionalism.
8. Get inspired
– spend more time with people who love their job. Read an inspiring book or watch an inspirational movie. These actions will get you in the mood to take positive action.
9. Seek professional help
– you may feel you can do it alone, but if you feel confused and unable to stick to your goals, a Career Coach could be just what you need. Not only can he or she give you that vital accountability but they can also help you to find the right pathway and create an effective job search strategy
. You just need to find one that you click with. You’ll still be doing all the hard work and taking action, but at least you’ll have someone to hold your hand along the way.
Mark Anderson is an award winning Career Coach who has been working with individuals to help them find fulfilling work for over 15 years. Find out more about the support Mark offers at www.kickstartcareers.co.uk