For many, 2009 can’t be over soon enough. The problem is that those same people will simply let the calendar change the year and change nothing else. Changing the date doesn’t change our circumstances; we need to consciously act on our situation to get to change.
Looking into 2010 as it relates to your job and career, here are the three steps you need to take:
Determine what work you love to do
After a long year of constant change, it is easy to simply go with the flow. Now is the time to step back, get perspective, and figure out what work you really like doing. It’s not that passion thing, but, instead, determining what about work excites you. With excitement comes engagement and with engagement you can get to satisfaction.
But the key in most everything is knowing what work you want to do. Without that as a starting point, you will simply drift along and get taken to wherever the corporate gods decide you are going.
You need this baseline before you can honestly look at where you are now and what you need to do to get to the next right place.
Determine how close the job you have matches the job work you love to do
If you are in a big corporation, you’ve undoubtedly seen significant layoffs or big reorganizations due to the Great Recession. With those come changes to the work you do — your workload is different, responsibilities have changed or your position is totally different. What you started doing at the beginning of 2009 may not look anything like what you are doing starting 2010.
Is this what you want? Do you like doing what you are doing? How does it compare to the work you love to do?
If your job is now closer to what you want to be doing, great. If it isn’t, you need to identify the parts of your work that are not satisfying and start trying to change what you do. That may be adding some projects and dropping others or it may mean a different job with a different company.
But the deal is that the less satisfying work you do, the less likely you’ll get a good performance rating…with a greater chance of a layoff or a poor raise, if any.
Determine how long a position will last
Cubicle Warriors know that every position only lasts so long. Whether the project is done in six months and there is a need to find a new project before then, or simply knowing that boredom will set in within a year with what you are doing now, identifying when the position will no longer be viable is critical.
Once you have a baseline of how long you think the position will last, you can update your opinion of it every month. But once you hit the time frame between the position ending and the length of finding a new job, you need to start looking for a new job. Companies won’t care much about your next job; you need to care so that you can meet your goals.
Don’t let 2010 start without getting perspective
It’s easy to simply let the calendar turn a page and think we’ve finally come into a new set of circumstances. We haven’t. Now is the time to understand what work you love to do, evaluating what is satisfying about your current work and changing it, and judging when a position will end so you can start the next job hunt.
How much has your job changed since the beginning of 2009?