“Career is an individual’s journey through learning, work and other aspects of life”
Finding a job we love is not easy! It’s hard after graduating from college, entering the real world and then realizing what we went to school for is either not interesting anymore, different from what we expected or we like it but something is missing and we aren’t sure what it is.
According to the Wall Street Journal, a job life span for millennials between the ages of 20-24 is 16 months and 25-34 is 3 years.
So, what does this mean? Well job hopping for the sake of job hopping is not the best. So before you start re-writing your resume, cover letter and applying to new positions it is important to take a step back and evaluate your current role.
To do this, dig deep and ask yourself the following 8 questions:
- Can I grow within my role? According to a recent Gallup survey, 87% of millennials indicate their professional career growth is important within their role. Looking at your position is there more you can do within your role or is there another skill set you can gain to enhance your position and tasks?
- Do I have a supportive environment? When you have something to say at a meeting, are people listening and taking it in or zoning off? Do you have coworkers that support you and that you want to be around or do you find yourself wanting to eat lunch alone and have no one to talk to?
- Am I energized at work? Are you doing the same thing day in and day out and are totally bored or are you energized by your daily tasks? Are you finding yourself getting a little lazy and saying “no” to tasks that once excited you or are you asking for more projects?
- Is waking up on Monday morning not so bad? By all means most people don’t love Mondays BUT there is a difference between not being so excited to head to work and completely and totally DREADING going there. Do you stay up late worried about going to the office and then hit your snooze button a million times to get out of bed for a job you don’t love?
- Do I have a supervisor that coaches me and provides feedback? In the same Gallup poll, only 17% of millennials say they receive meaningful feedback from their supervisor. Does your supervisor suggest professional development trainings? Do they give you feedback, both positive and negative, to push you forward to being a better professional?
- Do I have work/life balance? According to Deloitte’s millennial survey, 65% of millennials believe that flexibility in the workplace increases work/life balance. Can you leave your work at work and come home with a free mind or do you stress about what happened during the day and it’s now affecting your personal life? Are you spending your nights and weekends doing work and it is keeping you from other things you want to do personally?
- Am I using my strengths frequently? According to Gallup, 70% of millennials are more engaged at work if their managers focus on their strengths. Are you able to do what you’re good at on a daily or semi-daily basis? Does your company value your strengths and assign your projects and tasks accordingly?
- Do I know how my daily tasks are moving the mission of my organization forward? Do you have a clear understanding of how your job functions impact the organization?
Now, that you’ve answered these eight questions, look more deeply at your answers? You most likely are not going to say “yes” to all of them. Did the ones you said “yes” to outweigh the “no” answers in terms of importance and priority in your life?
If the answer is no, you need to take action. Try these four steps:
- Determine what is most important to you. What is the single thing that is most important to you in your current role that could possibly change? Out of these eight questions, what is one item that you feel can change for the better?
- Create an action plan. Are there projects on the table that haven’t been assigned where you could use your strengths? Could you suggest monthly meetings with your supervisor to provide feedback? Is it possible to adjust your work schedule to leave at a decent hour? Are there professional development events you want to register and attend? Think specifically about what you would propose to your boss and an action plan for completing it.
- Schedule a meeting with your supervisor. With your action plan in hand, speak to your supervisor about your concerns within your current role and a potential solution. This is not the time to make demands, but a time to have a reciprocal conversation about the company’s needs, your strengths, and how you can better work together to come to a solution.
- Prepare for the “no”. Your supervisor might not be on board right away, but don’t be discouraged. Try suggesting a month follow up on your proposals or a middle ground between what you are asking.
Finding a career, we love is by no means easy but taking a step back and evaluating where you are will make a huge difference. In order for your position to change, you need to be instrumental in the process.