After the slower pace of life over the summer months September always feels like a fresh start and a new beginning. Refreshed and ready to make the most of the final quarter it often means getting back into work at full speed, re-evaluating targets and what actions need to be taken to achieve them. On a personal level, you might be experiencing some holiday blues and you may even notice some thoughts like: ‘Do I really want to go back to the same problems?’, ‘Am I going to feel overstretched again?’, ‘Will I need to deal with that person again?’
If you are in a place where these types of questions are coming more and more frequently, you maybe ready for a career change, and start to consider looking for another role, I would like to encourage you to gain clarity about your own skills, motivators, values and needs before you accept the first decent offer that appears in front of you. Having those aspects in alignment with your next role, next organisation and culture can hugely influence the level of your work satisfaction, and how long you will be able to stay in the next role. With this in mind, please consider the following.
Your skills, strengths, and talents
- What are your favourite tasks in your role? What are you really great at?
- What are the skills or strengths that you feel are underused at the moment? Maybe you do something outside of work that you are great at, but can’t do that at work.
- What are the skills you would like to develop? What would you like to be working on in 2-3 years time?
I would like to encourage you to write down as many skills as possible. Think about skills you used in past roles. If you struggle with finding the right language to define the skills, take some time to search for a few jobs and get inspired. Put your favourite skills and strengths in order (which ones you would like to use mostly in your next role).
What are your motivators?
What is it that keeps you going? Reflect on the tasks and situations at work when you were most productive and felt most satisfied. What happened there? What are your work motivators? You may want to consider some of the following options.
- Status, additional responsibilities and benefits.
- Being a part of a team.
- Being an expert.
- Making a difference.
- Learning and developing at work.
- Work-life balance and flexible working.
- Freedom and autonomy to make decisions.
- Being a leader, setting up the vision and strategy and developing people.
- Using your top skills and talents.
- Innovation and creative thinking.
- Recognition from others.
We often are not fully aware of our values ….until someone acts against them, and we experience stronger emotions. When was the last time you felt frustrated or disappointed at work? What happened and which of your values were not met? Lack of collaboration? Lack of transparency/ honesty? Poor leadership? Lack of support? Or integrity?
To uncover your values, you also may want to consider the opposite situation. What was your best day at work? Or how your ideal day at work would look like? What values would be met? Developing others? Team spirit? Recognition? Structure? Autonomy? Effectiveness?
When considering a career change and finding our ideal job, we cannot forget about some practicalities, such as:
- Location: How far from home would you be based? Can you commute? Are there options for hybrid working?
- Salary: What is the minimum that would make you feel valued and motivated to do the job required?
- Size of the company or team: Do you thrive in a corporate environment, or would you prefer national or small businesses? How big should be your team to make you thrive?
- Other: What is it in the company environment that can support your work? It might be something as simple as having enough sunlight in the office or having an open plan and smaller rooms to support collaboration as well as individual deep work.
If you feel that you may need to have more support and structure in planning your next career change, please get in touch and book a free discovery session. As a Licensed Firework Career Coach, I use methodology shared by one of the ‘longest-established career coaching training providers in Europe’, including many of John Lees’ (author of ‘How to get a job you love’) career coaching tools, so you can feel you are in safe hands.