Seeking a new job, is a very important life-changing decision, but a necessary thing to do. Any change means growth, development and evolution, and can only make you a better person. When we dread change, we hang back in fear and lose the opportunities for surprises, personal fulfilment and even greater success. Eventually, we are then steeped in regrets.
The first essential tips for changing your career are the following:
1. Make a list of up to 10 things that a job SHOULD give you (the PROFESSIONAL points).
Your ideal, no matter how unrealistic they may sound. This could include type of job, pay, location, perks etc. The things you dream of. Experiment with the priority order of that list as much as you can, until you have got it in exactly the order that reflects the importance of each desire for you.
2. Draw a line under your top five, to clearly demarcate them from the rest.
There is a very important reason for this. You can always compromise with the last five items, but if the job does not provide the top five desires, especially the first three, DON’T take it. You will only feel good at the beginning, then get progressively disillusioned as things do not add up to what you expect. And they won’t. If you have identified what you really want and what makes you happy, then go against it, you will still be unhappy.
3. Make another five-point list (the PERSONAL checkpoints), clearly identifying the following important aspects:
A. Who you really are? (what you stand for, how you see yourself, your true personality).If you don’t know who you are, your job cannot reflect you, enhance you or develop you. For example, what is the point of going into the Armed Forces/military because the pay is good and you can lord it over others if you cannot stand taking orders from anyone, or don’t like the idea of killing others? You’d be going against who you are.
B. Where you are going or wish to go (if you don’t know where you’re heading in your life, your job cannot take you there). We don’t get into a car and drive aimlessly. We always have a destination in mind and we tend to get there safely. The same with our lives. If you don’t have a direction, you can bet your last dollar that someone will find a direction for you, which is unlikely to make you happy!
C. What you seek in life (what is your real PURPOSE, what makes you sing and smile to do it?). If you don’t know what you want, how on earth are you going to recognise it when you see it?
D. Your level of self-belief and confidence. If you have very little, not even the best sounding jobs will provide the opportunities and achievement you seek because the barrier to such success would have already been inside your head.
E. Whether you are a ‘people person’ or feel more comfortable with ‘things’. That is very important for your direction in life. If you are the quiet, introverted type, who tends to feel uncomfortable with others, it is pointless getting a job to manage people. You are probably better with projects/technology.
So, armed with your two lists of exactly who you are and the essential things a job must give you, every time you see a job that you like, rate the job against your first list of elements, perhaps using a scale of 1-5 for each. If you get a lot of fours or fives, especially for your top five items, then move on to your personal list and see how the job aligns with your personality, purpose and direction etc; whether it boosts your confidence and self-belief. If it is also high on these, that’s the one to go for.
If you follow this simple plan every time, you won’t allow yourself to be blinded just by pay, perks or location. You will keep a steady head as you assess something even more important: the job’s capacity to excite, develop and enhance you in ways you really dream of on an emotional level. You will then stop playing to someone else’s tune purely for money or the convenience.