Taking that next step in your career is tricky. Many of us stay far too long in unfulfilling jobs because we don’t know what to do next. Far from being a case of ‘grass is greener’, that yearning to be somewhere - anywhere - else is only natural, even if we don’t have a clear idea of what that ‘anywhere else’ looks like.
Often, the search for pastures new brings up the added issue that it’s sometimes not so much the place that’s pushing you away, but the role itself. That raw feeling in the pit of your stomach when viewing similar job specs is a fairly clear indication that a complete change is in order.
But how do you begin to look for that next role when you don’t even know what it looks like? The simple tips below will help you over this hurdle and identify the perfect next job for you.
List things you like (and don’t) Don’t listen to those who say it doesn’t matter whether you love your job or not. You spend nearly half of your waking hours at work, so identifying the things you like (and don’t like) to do is the perfect place to start. Try to be as detailed as possible - for example, instead of saying ‘I like communicating’, dig a little deeper. Do you like written or verbal communication? Do you like internal communication, like problem-solving with your team, or external communication, like working with clients or external partners? This list of carefully-considered likes and dislikes should form the founding element of your decision making process.
List your skills (and weaknesses) Now you’ve listed what you like and dislike, it’s time to be honest with yourself. Where do your greatest strengths lie, and which areas cause you difficulty? Our natural inclination is to concentrate on weaknesses, as most of us feel uncomfortable listing the things we’re good at. This feeling also becomes apparent in our career development choices, as avenues are closed because ‘I need to learn to do this first’. While having an awareness of your weaknesses is healthy, that isn’t where your focus should be. Instead, concentrate on your strengths, and find roles that can make them even better.
Do your research Finally, it’s time to trawl the job boards looking for roles that fit your likes and strengths. Really make the effort to cast your net wider to roles and industries you may not have otherwise considered. Look closely at job specs to find outliers that may be the perfect fit for you.
It’s also important not to automatically write off a job because you don’t perfectly meet every requirement - if you’ve only got four years of experience in a particular area instead of the five that they’re asking for, you’ve probably got other transferrable skills that make up for it.
If you’re still struggling for direction, give the POST team a call, and we can help you match your skills to a role you’ll love.