As this year comes to a close, we look toward the New Year with a fresh start. Especially if you’re feeling stuck in your career, this an in ideal time to assess, evaluate and set new goals for the months ahead. Carve out time for yourself—and keep with it. Reflect. Make a plan. Put the balls in motion. And keep them moving until you find what you’re looking for. Here are some tried and true tips to get you moving forward and headed toward your next stop on your journey.
First things first, get out of your own head. Things tend to be so much worse when we are highly emotional about them—and feeling stalled in a job you don’t like can certainly be emotional. Get back to the facts with questions like: why did you initially choose to come to this current role/ company? Have you achieved those things? Your boss might be a nightmare, but what aspects of your job do you like? Is there another role at your current company that would be a great new fit? What accomplishments have you had during your time here and how does this experience fit into your larger goals?
FIGURE OUT WHERE YOU’RE RUNNING
Are you running away from something or towards something right now? Often, when we are running away from something, we are so desperate to leave that we don’t take time to figure out where we really WANT to be. Make time to uncover passions, interests and goals about where you want to be in 5-10+ years. Refocus your energy on where you are going and the value that you will bring, rather than on the quickest way out.
This is a big one. Get familiar with your skills, strengths, and successes. Start out easy. Grab a sheet of paper and have a freestyle brainstorm session with yourself (remember— there are no rules in brainstorming!). Once you start jotting stuff down, you’ll be surprised at how they start to flow. Keep the list handy—you’ll want to add to it over time. All of this information will eventually help you clarify your job search direction and will be helpful in networking, interviewing, and writing resumes and bios.
KNOCK ON YOUR NETWORK’S DOOR
This is key! Once you start your exploration process, reach out to your network and connect. I promise— people will help you if they can. Call your mentors. Find ways to meet other professionals and reconnect with those you haven’t seen in a while. Grab a cup of coffee or an after-work beverage, or meet up for lunch or even to watch a game. Catch up, tell them what you are looking to do, ask for their insights or ideas, and identify ways you can help each other. You will be amazed at the opportunities that will come from it. But, you never know until you ask!
PHONE A FRIEND
Or a relative, mentor, spouse— anyone that loves you but will be brutally honest with you at the same time. Someone who can commit to being “your person” during this process. Someone who will give you solid feedback, brainstorm with you, keep you accountable, prep you for interviews, attend networking events with you, and remind you how great you are when you need it most.