Another year is coming to an end and while there will be a lot of people making personal new years resolutions perhaps the best one you can make is to reflect on where you are in your career. Are you just another part of a machine that management believes can be replaced easily or are you a valuable member of team whose members pull for each other ? Do you have a manager that you can look up to and who feels that it’s her/his business to see you succeed ? If the answer is no than it’s time to make a change.
Recently I found the job of my dreams and frankly it took a long time to find. However I never gave up hope that out there, somewhere was a great job where my skills would be recognized as a valuable asset to the company. In talking with a lot of peers and others within my network I realize that I am very lucky. There are a lot of people out there living in cube cites going from one meeting to another and never being able to really get anything done. My personal feeling is that we spend way too much of our lives working just for it to be “a job”. I don’t want a job; I want a career
Perhaps the hardest thing to do is to come to the realization that it’s time to make a change. If you reach that point focus on what really motivates you to succeed rather than title and compensation. I mean if you have a crummy job will making more money make it any better ?
There is a lot of talk about personal branding today but the reality is that you are who you are and who you are is reflected in everything you do from the hours you work to the time of day or night you check eMail. If you’re measured by what time you’re at your desk and what time you leave rather than the contributions you make to the company or organization than that’s a key warning sign. I know some people who can get a whole days work done in a couple of hours but I also know a lot of people who take days to do simple tasks.
A good job is one that will challenge you in every aspect of your working knowledge. You may challenge processes that don’t make sense or add value to customers even though that’s not “your job” but people do because they care.
The other thing is that even if you stuck working for a lousy company in a lousy job for a bad manager you still owe it to them to give 100%. It says a lot about you as person and you owe it them because they offered you a position you accepted.
Don’t settle for a job when you can have a career. Don’t let anyone tell you that there aren’t great jobs out there because their are you just have to take those first steps and say “I want a career”.