Early in the new year is a time when traditionally people review how the previous year has been, their life and their goals.  Opportunities for reflection and down time over the festive period gives many the opening to think about their future and how they want to live their life. Many people resolve to make changes.

Intrinsically linked with this is time to review your job and career. How has the last year at work been? Is the job you are doing right for you? Has your career progressed as well as it could? Do you need to do any more networking or studying to achieve your career goals? Do you fundamentally like your job and is it giving you the satisfaction you need?

Jobs and careers are funny things.  Much of your personal sense of self is achieved through your job and what you do for a living.  We spend a third of our lives at work so if its right, then great. You will get a real sense of satisfaction and confidence from doing something you love.  But what if you are unhappy at work? What if you dread going into work every day or worry about seeing a particular work colleague who you don’t get on with?  How does this make you feel about your job and your career prospects?

But of course if you are not happy, you can change all this.  Not necessarily a knee-jerk reaction that you resign because you have reached your limit but a planned and thoughtful approach to looking for a new job or review your career goals and direction. Changing jobs is a big step so here are a few things you can do to prepare and make a planned approach to finding a new role:

  • Talk to your manager to see if there is anything that can be done to change your current job or identify any internal opportunities for change.
  • Get some feedback from your manager about your strong points and what you still need to learn or improve upon.
  • If you are thinking about leaving your current job, decide whether you will move to a different geographical area, job role or industry.
  • Update your CV and check for consistency, spelling and succinctness.
  • Prepare a covering letter/statement which covers the essentials of your experience and which can be tailored to meet the requirements of a particular vacancy you wish to apply to.
  • Identify companies and/or industries you would like to work with and consider a direct approach.
  • Regularly review vacancies in your area to see what is on the market.
  • Practice being interviewed and get feedback on how you did.
  • Consider life/career coaching to help you identify a clear path.

And if you are happy with your job, don’t be complacent and sit back and relax.  Ask for a review with you manager and discuss your future career goals and plans. This will give you a shape of where you are heading for and a plan of how you will get there.

Whatever you decide, good luck!