Is 2017 your year for a change in career?

Is 2017 your year for a change in career?

With a brand spanking New Year ahead of us, and 12 months of opportunities, January is – for many – the ideal time to consider a change in career.  With inboxes bursting at the seams with ‘New year, new me’ headings every January, it’s easy to jump on the bandwagon and feel you should be making changes for the sake of a fresh start.  However, before you decide that you need to change jobs because you’ve been in your role a long time, or haven’t had much progression, ask yourself – do you actually want to?  Are you happy?  If you go to work happy and come home happy, you’ve probably struck gold, so enjoy it!

With research showing that 78% of employees in their 20s and 64% in their 30s having dreamt of changing their careers, it is likely that you have had thoughts of moving on or forging a brand new career in untested waters.

If you have been having doubts about whether you’re in the right role, there are few things you can do to make sure that you are ready to move on and seek a role that’s better suited to you.

Talk about it

If you’re looking at making a career move or change this year, talk to friends or family about it.  While there is a great deal to be said about leaving work and business at your desk for the sake of a healthy home life, chances are your family and friends know you best and will be able to give honest advice on whether that new role or venture sounds a lot like you, or is just plain unrealistic.  We are always good at giving advice to others, but sometimes not so great at supplying it to ourselves, so seek some free advice from those closest to you.

Check the doorstep!

Before you start writing a letter of resignation, make sure you have a good look at where you work now. If you work in a large organisation, chances are you could apply for an internal move – talk to your manager and discuss your needs. The first step is talking to someone of authority who can ignite some change. Perhaps you work in an administrative role and would love to pursue a career in marketing – show the passion and the willingness to learn and maybe that new opportunity could be right there in your current company.

Make sure you are on the same page

What does your current company stand for?  Take time to ask yourself if the company and its values match yours.  You should feel as though you are on the same wavelength and that you practise what they preach.  If you think that the mission statement is a bit cheesy, or worse still, it fills you with rage, it won’t benefit you or your employer in the long run.

Review your current career ‘diet’

Your career is part of a happy and healthy lifestyle.  You need regular exercise and nutritious food, and so does your professional life.  It needs regular reviews – an input of healthy, positive attitudes and the right environment.  Everyone needs to progress and everyone needs to feel valued.  If you haven’t had either of these two in the last 12 months, you need to look at your career diet and put together a plan – pronto.

‘Choose a job you love…

…and you will never have to work a day in your life.’  This age-old Confucius quotation speaks volumes and is incredibly powerful when it comes to looking at what you really want to do.  If you are looking to move on, think about what you enjoy doing outside of work.  What is your go-to happiness activity that you genuinely enjoy?  Could you make this a career path?  The days of doing a conventional job are well and truly over. We live in exciting times with so many more opportunities to choose work that is aligned with our passions.  Obviously, we all need to pay the bills and earn enough to lead a happy and healthy life, but if you can do this and enjoy what you’re doing, you’ll be 90% more likely to succeed and be in it for the long term.

In summary, while January may be the time when anyone and everyone is talking about a ‘new start’, make sure you really do fall into this category – take a breath, do some research, and if the signs point to a new chapter in your own career journey, then go for it!