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The Christmas break is a great time to reflect upon your achievements in the workplace, looking at how you’ve developed both as a person and within your role. It’s also a good time to think about next steps, are you going to stay with your current employer and further develop in your role, or is it time to move onto pastures new?
It can be a daunting decision to make, especially when you’re still only in your first ‘proper’ graduate job. You might not have even mastered how an office environment really works yet, but on the other hand you’ve now definitely decided what you really want to do – and what you’re currently doing, isn’t it.
But before you rush to hand in your notice, you need to consider whether you’re thinking of leaving for the right reasons. That’s why we suggest 4 signs to look out for, if you’re thinking about a change in career…
When you first start a new job, you enter on day one with a notepad at the ready, jotting down everything you can – trying to absorb as much information about your new role as possible. As time goes by you slowly start to learn the ropes, put away the notepad and become comfortable in your role. The question is, at this point do you feel like you’re still being challenged?
You want to be learning as much as you possibly can, no matter what kind of career path you’ve chosen - it’s the only way you can start to broaden your knowledge of your field of expertise. Unfortunately, despite initial expectations or promises made, some roles can become stagnant.
If you feel like you’re carrying out the same tasks every day that aren’t using your abilities to your fullest potential – then this is a good first indicator that it might be time to start looking for something different.
So you might not feel like you’re being challenged in your role, but you can see there is a reason behind you having to do menial work. Everyone has to start somewhere and there has been a clear path of progression laid out for you that will help you grow. Right? Or wrong?
If the latter, then this is the next the indicator that something isn’t quite right with your current job. You need to be able to see where your hard work is progressing you to, and this needs to be clearly set out by your employer. Sometimes all this takes is a conversation with your manager to see how they think you’re progressing and where they see you in six months’ to a years’ time. This reassurance can go a long way and also give you something to aim for in the future.
Things can change quickly in business. An employee can leave or a department can merge, and you can suddenly find your role has turned into something you didn’t expect, or worse, something you really don’t enjoy. Of course, we’re not saying quit as soon as it’s your week on kitchen duty. But if you find yourself in a new role that isn’t suited to your skills set and isn’t in line with the career direction you’re aiming for, then it may be time to think about moving on. On the other hand, you might find a slight change or restructure to your job role can offer a fantastic challenge and an opportunity to broaden your skill set – if this is the case then, at least for a while longer, why not give it all you’ve got!
It’s never too late to chase your dreams! You may have taken a job because you needed the money or because it seemed like the best choice at the time, but with experience and financial security now under your belt, you shouldn’t let the need for a job, get in the way of you now pursuing your first choice career.
If anything, the experience you have acquired could help better equip you for your next role, even if it is in a completely different industry! Employers are always looking for candidates with commercial experience and with that now ready to be added to your CV, you will be much more employable than you were say when you first started looking for a job out of university. Remember, you spend 30% of your life at work… Make sure you spend that time doing something you enjoy!
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