As the champagne bubbles fade and a new year is born, it is time to reassess what our goals will be for the year ahead. The new year is a good time for re-assessing your career is on the right path. A time to make sure that what you do makes you happy and drives you to achieve every day. Imagine your career is like a Christmas present. When you unwrap it does it give you a sense of purpose, drive your passion and give you a nice life? Or do you feel disappointed, disengaged and long for something more.? If you answered yes to the latter, it is time to reassess your goals and put yourself back on the path which makes you happy.
Of course, there was a time when you were excited about your current career, but over time things change. You change. What drove you then, does not drive you now. But you do not have to be stuck in a career which no longer serves you. You have the ability to make a change.
While you are on your summer holidays relaxing and winding down from a challenging year, use the time to make a plan. Reflect on the past year and remember what you have achieved and what has not gone well? Even ask the tough question: do I like my current job?
Then let new ideas and opportunities float across your mind about what empowers and drives you today.
A career stocktake requires you to honestly critically analyse not only your current job, but also your organisation and how you see your future self. Assess your competencies, transferable skills, strengths, passions, achievements, experience, education, networks and personal brand.
Now, assess your job, the organisation and the work environment and list the tangible and intangible attributes you like and dislike. What are your career goals? Do they align with your current job?
Then look into your future and ask yourself some more tough questions. What do you want to achieve in the next three to six months? What makes you get up in the morning? What inspires and drives your passion for life? Where do you want to be in your career this time next year? What is your long term goal, e.g. where do you see yourself and what do you want to be doing in five years time?
In order to be happy in a career that inspires you, look at your lists. Identify what it is you really want to be doing. Most importantly, decide what you DO NOT want to do. What do you want to achieve this year? Where do your passions take you?
What is the next step? Now comes the hard part. You need an implementation plan with clear, actions to ensure your success. This includes holding yourself accountable when you deviate from your path.
Identify the gaps between your current situation and to your desired career path. What do you need to do to address those gaps? Do you need to up-skill in some areas? Do you have the networks and/or mentors to provide you guidance.
Take each gap one at a time and plan how you will conquer it. Do not try and do too much at once. If you overwhelm yourself then you are at risk of not meeting your goals. Set yourself a reasonable timeframe to achieve each item on your plan and track your progress.
Review your plan regularly and adjust it. You may realise that some things are going to take longer or you might tick them off within the month. Be kind to yourself and take one task at a time.
A career change takes commitment. If you are really driven by your new passion, you will succeed.
Most importantly, believe in yourself. You’ve got this.