Sometimes, we have to make a start, or a start over, in our careers.

Career Crafters for You is Making A Change Too!

After 2 great years of coaching clients, we have decided that the best way to reach more of you is to compile our knowledge, skills, ideas and adventures into an e-book.  Look for an announcement for its publication in 2018! And to give you some parting knowledge until we meet again, here is some food for thought….

Tips for Job Seekers:

Career training in Apex, NC

Top 5 things to do in your job search

  1. Update your resume
  2. Create and update your LinkedIn Profile
  3. Publish your resume on job boards
  4. Network with friends, colleagues, meet up groups, etc.
  5. Be organized – create a spreadsheet of companies you would like to target in your search

Six Signs It’s Time to Make a Job Change

  1. Your need for more outweighs the job you have.

Most of us start a job with a fairly steep learning curve, unless it’s something we’ve done before and are making a lateral move by choice or necessity.  In any job, there are busy times and slow times, but when you discover that your slow times are 90% of the hours in your work day, it might be time to make a change.

Making a change doesn’t necessarily mean moving on. Look for other opportunities to grow within your company, by volunteering for additional assignments, or assisting other departments in large scale projects where they could use some help.  It is pretty unusual for a supervisor to look negatively on someone who wants to take on more work. Exposing yourself to other sides of the business will not only make you more valuable, but it may spark an interest in an area you haven’t considered before.

As in every situation, do your research first.  Observe the company culture; learn their philosophy on cross-functional relationships.  Find out what areas need more help and make a plan to pitch your skills to assist them.  If you find that your company does not support these types of opportunities, then it’s time to move on.

  1. Moving on is not everyone’s expectation of you.

It’s hard to go against the grain, that’s why cats get crabby when you pet them the wrong way. But which is going to feel worse, staying in a job that satisfies everyone else’s expectation of you or finding one that really represents the very best of your talents?  Sometimes we just have to turn off all the naysayers and do what we think is best for ourselves.

Now, does that mean you should try out for Survivor’s next open casting call or become an airline pilot just because you like to travel?  No!  Everyone has their passions and talents but we have to be realistic about which of those traits are most marketable.

Take a self-inventory. What are your skills, strengths and interests? How do they fit into a job description? Start reading job descriptions based on your internal assessment of your skill set and dip your toe in the water by applying for them.  Do some informational interviewing with people in the careers you are considering.  They can give you a great snapshot of what the job is like and you can determine your next step. Never say never or you’ll never know…

  1. Your work environment

A toxic work environment is not healthy to be a part of, no matter what your situation. If you find that you are being treated inappropriately and there is no recourse from your human resources department, then make a strategy to get out as soon as you can.

Signs of a toxic work environment are chronic high stress with unrealistic expectations that simply cannot be met. Poor management, lack of communication, low morale and high employee turnover are other signs.  If you notice you are having increased health issues since being in this environment, then that also can be a strong sign it is time to move on. No one can last in toxic environment for long without it impacting their health.

If this sounds too familiar, then make an exit strategy and move on.  Dysfunctional workplaces rarely get resolved without some major management shakeup and it’s not good to wait around on the knight on the white horse to come and rescue you from a bad situation.

  1. You’ve been passed over one too many times

Does this sound familiar? You’ve given your all to the job. You come in early, stay late, volunteer for extra assignments, and provide helpful feedback that increases productivity.  When raises and bonuses come, or other positions with advancement opportunities arise, you are never considered.

If you have made your intentions clear about your desire to advance in your company and you find yourself in this situation, then it’s time to move on. Some managers get very comfortable having someone who does a job well, that they can trust and depend on and they don’t want to lose them.  Maybe they are not being intentional about holding you back, but the bottom line is, that is exactly what they are doing.

  1. Your Integrity is Challenged

We all have our bottom line, the internal checklist that tells us right from wrong.  As we age, some of that may shift, in accordance to our life choices, exposure to situations and people, or exploration of a belief system.

If you are ever in a job that compromises your integrity in that you are expected to do something illegal, immoral or dangerous, then make an exit plan immediately.  Your personal integrity and safety are infinitely more important than the job you hold.

If you have had a heart change about what your company supports or represents, then take a long internal look to see if your role in the company still compromises your principles.  Some of us can be ok with doing a job, but not buying into the mission or philosophy of the organization.   Some of us just cannot and have to move on.

We all want to be proud of who we are and what we represent. When we are part of a company, it becomes a part of who we are. If you decide that working for your organization compromises your principles to a point that you can no longer feel good about being there, then it’s time to move on.

  1. The What-If game in Your Head

Everyone is intimidated by the “what if” scenario.  But what if you never did anything about it? What if your work life never got any better? Is that less frightening than taking a chance to find another job that suits you better?

In today’s world of 24-hour news and technology, it is almost impossible not to find out the good, bad and ugly about any workplace.  And if you can’t find anything about a company you are considering, then maybe that’s a sign to steer clear.

All life transitions are scary, but if you never try, you will never know.  Don’t let the what if game win.  Change that mindset to a what could happen.  You could get a raise. You could get a more creative job.  You could find a company with a better work-life balance.  You could be happier.