I’ve written a couple of blogs about the importance of networking to help you change career. I’ve also written about the importance of starting small and making steady progress throughout your journey. One thing I haven’t yet talked about is how important it is to make the most of the job you’re in while you plan your next move.
Whether you’ve set your eye on a new role, starting up your own business, or a complete career change – it can be hard to stay motivated if you know you’ll be moving on eventually. But planning and executing your ideal next career move can take time, and it’s important not to jump out of the proverbial frying plan and into the fire of another job you dislike just as much.
While you’re committing to action and taking small steps towards your career move, here are 3 things you can do to get the most out of your current situation:
1) Decide what you need to do in your current job to be successful in your next
It’s hard to volunteer for new projects and go above and beyond for an employer you know you won’t be staying with, so turn it around and decide what you need to get from your current job to give you the best platform to move on from. Think about what skills and experience you need to develop to give yourself the best success in your chosen field, and ask your manager if you can get involved in wider projects or take on wider responsibility.
You’ll have existing commitments from your day job, but there is often some flexibility to steer our jobs in the direction we want, as long as we’re still delivering the essentials. For example you may want to gain experience in (or at least exposure to) managing budgets. Ask your boss how you can get involved in learning more about this area, as it could be crucial for what you want to do next.
2) Write down what you want to stop, start, and continue doing in your next move
Reflecting on what you have loved (and not loved!) in your current job can help you focus you in the right direction for your next move. What parts of your job do you know you want to leave behind, and what do you want to continue doing?
It’s unrealistic to love all aspects of your job all the time, but knowing what the most important factors are for you is important to ensure you make the best next move for you. Think as well about what new skills and strengths you’d like to use in your next job. Talk to others about what they enjoy most about their job if you want some inspiration.
3) Nurture your internal as well as your external network
If you know you’re not committing to your company in the long-term, it can be easy to let your working relationships take a back seat. Make the most of the time you have in your company by keeping in touch with people you may want to get back in touch with at a later stage in your career. It goes without saying that you should avoid burning bridges in companies and it may be more difficult to contact people once you leave, so reflect on what relationships you want to invest in before you leave.
Likewise – and especially if you’ll be job hunting or seeking clients externally soon – reconnect with contacts outside of work and ask them if they have connections you could benefit from speaking to. “Networking” internally and externally doesn’t need to be done in an overly formal way, sometimes it’s as simple as going for coffee with an old friend.
And finally – if you’re having a really bad day and want to quit before you’re ready to, remember that this situation is only temporary. Dissatisfaction with a current job can be the fuel you need to keep the energy and motivation going with your job search, so use the frustration to your benefit by continuing to take action!
Want to discuss how one of my career programmes could help shift your career in the direction you want?
Get in touch for a free 30 minute consultation – firstname.lastname@example.org