You’ve spent over 3 years in your role, and believe it’s time for a change. Bad days at work have become more common, your tolerance levels are at an all-time low, and you find yourself running to the bathroom to give yourself a “pep talk” more often than not. You’ve been planning your exit for months now, but you haven’t found that job you want. Sound familiar?
Many professionals tend to check out once they get to this point. Their once loved job has become a thing of the past, and a focus on the future begins to take precedence. They plan, plan and plan. They plan to get out and not through. Their work product becomes sloppy, professional etiquette dwindles and coasting becomes their best friend. Let me tell you, these actions can be detrimental to one’s career.
Don’t get me wrong, planning ahead is always good, but not at the expense of your today. Planning should dictate your today and not hinder it. As professionals, we need to understand that what we do on a daily basis ultimately determines where we end up going, so it’s crucial to start thinking about things that can help catapult us into where we want to be not only in the near future, but many years down the line.
Here are a few things you should do while you wait for the job you want:
1. Be clear on what you want
Spend time to think about what kind of role you actually want. I recently met with a friend who said she was looking for a role in the area of project management. When I asked her what projects she would like to manage, she shrugged her shoulders, hoping I could answer that question for her. She obviously had no idea.
You have to know what you want before you can get what you want. Simple. Understanding this is a critical component to career longevity. It stops you from getting into roles that seem greener on the other side, and have no correlation to your long term goals and aspirations. Sit down. Think about what role makes the most sense for you at this stage in your life. Be realistic but think big. What are your skills, values and passions? Identifying these 3 things can lead you into a fulfilling and satisfying career and land you your dream job.
2. Begin to work towards what you want
Once you know what you want, begin to work towards it. There is no time like the present. Spend time developing the necessary skills and knowledge that will get you to the next level. Seek out opportunities and run with it. Take that certification, or join that online class. Strategically laying the groundwork for your next job is wise. Success happens when preparation meets opportunity. Be prepared.
3. Find a way to add value
Adding value precedes success, so if you want success focus on adding value. Think creatively about ways to do this and ensure what you do is effective and useful.
Adding value to others is always a great start. This is a trademark of great leadership and is of mutual benefit to you and your team. Find someone to mentor, encourage, teach or develop. We all have the ability to add significant value to our team and firm regardless of our current position.
4. Keep giving your best
The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today”. H. Jackson Brown Jr
This quote couldn’t be more accurate. Keep giving your best. Don’t cut corners. Take pride in your work. Work hard, work smart. What you do today will ultimately dictate your tomorrow, so keep building your brand of excellence no matter what and don’t ruin that reputation you’ve spent years building up.
5. Keep a positive attitude
Keeping a positive attitude is probably one of the most important things you can do. A positive attitude will lead to a positive outcome. Stay positive and get that outcome you’ve been dreaming about.
To close: Don’t spend so much time focusing and planning for your next role, that you miss great opportunities. Concentrate on where you are. Ask yourself if what you are doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow. Just do your best where you are. I can assure you, it will take you to where you need to go. Good luck!
Peju Akintorin, SPHR, PMP