It seems that companies are still laying off employees. We aren't out of the woods yet and perhaps we never will be. The reality of today's work is that it could end tomorrow, no matter how valuable you are or how secure you think your job is.
New York state, as well as other states, are having a difficult time balancing their budgets which is trickling down to schools and municipal services. In my town we've lost a bunch of full time firefighters and our school district is laying off hundreds. These are the kinds of employees who have become used to feeling secure. Who would have thought they would be in the ranks of unemployed? We NEED teachers and firefighters.
It just goes to show, no one's job is safe any longer. The faster you realize this, the easier it will be to start taking steps today to proactively managing your career.
So what do you do if you think you will be next on the chopping block or you want to start being proactive?
Determine what excites you
If you've been in a job awhile, you may have forgotten why you started doing it in the first place.
- What is is you love doing within your role?
- What is it that motivates you to go to work?
- What types of people do you enjoy working with?
- What kinds of problems do you like to solve?
- What has been one of your most memorable accomplishments?
These are not easy questions. They are absolutely the most important ones to answer first.
What would your dream job look like (literally)?Before you start searching the job boards, identify your dream job.
- Would you go to an office?
- What would the office look like?
- What kinds of people would work there?
- How would your day be structured/how would you spend your time?
- What kinds of things would you be doing?
- Who would you report to?
- How would you like to be compensated?
- What kind of recognition would you want to feel good about the work you do?
Answer these questions without filtering out answers that seem crazy or unrealistic. Just dump the answers on the page for now.
Inventory your skills
Create a list of skills you love to use and think you're good at. While you are at it, create a list of skills that you don't like. Then create a list of skills you want to develop or get better at using.
If you want a good listing of occupational skills, visit this link from ONet.
Talk it outNow you are ready to run this information by people you know and trust. Ask them for their advice on where these things might fit. This will allow you to create yet another list of ideas to pursue.
There is no magic wand. There are tons of assessments out there, some free, some are not. Even these assessments will not be able to say "You should be a Nano Technologist". This isn't an exact science. Finding a fulfilling job is as unique as you are and there is always more than one "correct" answer. The good thing is, no one says you have to do this job for the rest of your life. If you don't like it, guess what, you can leave!
Sometimes it isn't the destination, but the journey, that enlightens!