According to new research by CIPD, almost half of our workforce are currently in roles that do not match their skills. Their whitepaper Over-Skilled and Under-Used is worth downloading. Are you one of them, neglecting to re-calibrate your career?
A reality we don’t often acknowledge is that careers are not for life! How often do you re-calibrate and re-evaluate your career? You might be thinking that changing careers is scary, costly and stressful. So why change career when you could manage your career more proactively instead, and continually assess, reevaluate, refocus your priorities?
The CIPD report reminds us that these dissatisfied workers could end up facing psychological distress, often have low job satisfaction, low motivation, low productivity levels and ultimately are more likely to quit. Recognise any of these in yourself and your current work situation?
Remember that your career doesn’t have to be forever. You might not hate your role, but is it pushing you, stretching you, helping you to learn and grow? There are several key milestones in your career that give you the perfect opportunity to re-evaluate and re-calibrate your career.
When to re-calibrate your career.
1 year in.
Ask yourself how is it going? Are you enjoying your new job? Does it match the job description and what you were promised during the hiring process? Or is it different (that could be good or bad!). How are the people you are working with, have you integrated well? Are you using all your skills? If not how could you be using them? Are you learning, developing, expanding your knowledge?
2 years in.
With a new job often comes new learning. But two years in, is the learning continuing? How often do you get opportunities for training, or to expand your knowledge base? Are you learning from your colleagues or are you simply sitting back and coasting now?
5 years in.
After five years in a job, the classic itchy feet kick in. This is the time when most people have had enough of where they are, and want a major change. Before you get to this crisis point, reassess! What have you accomplished in your five years in the role, and is there more to be done? Are there opportunities for you to gain more responsibility or develop your role? Reassessing gives you a chance to request change, rather than suddenly feeling ‘oops I’ve fallen out of love with my job.’
The key to a happy, successful career is to constantly question and challenge yourself.
Be aware of changes happening. In the workplace, in the industry, in the job market. Once you are employed we often forget to keep up with change (and can quickly find yourself left behind – which is problematic if you find yourself job hunting again). Are you still current in the marketplace? Are your skills keeping up with the times? Technology is advancing at a rapid pace, you don’t want to get left behind. Plus, self-learning is great for your morale, your knowledge base, your organization and your CV (read more about self-learning to accelerate your career!).
Think outside the office.
So often I coach people who seem to have forgotten how to network! Even when you’re comfortably employed, never let yourself get too comfortable. Keep trying to build networks outside of your organisation or sector so that you have a real view of what’s going on in the industry and the wider world – not just what you think might be going on. It will also help to raise your profile and ensure you’re in people’s minds for opportunities that otherwise might pass you by.
The key to enjoying your job is to keep questioning it. If there’s an aspect that’s missing, or something you aren’t enjoying, challenge it. If you don’t, you’ll soon find yourself lacking motivation and wanting to leave.
Keep re-calibrating your career!