You’re thinking about a career change…what should you do?
Whether by choice or as a result of redundancy, it is helpful to do a personal stocktake or due diligence of your career to date, and re-calibrate your aspirations.
For most of us, a career is the backbone of our life. Regardless of the level you operate at in an organisation, the same mantra applies, Know Thyself. This means know your strengths, your style, what’s important to you, what makes you miserable, what you’re working on, work environments that make you thrive and how you impact others or influence an outcome. If you can’t articulate this for yourself, you’ll have little chance of assessing your career options and communicating what you offer to others.
A career due diligence involves reflection and research. For those of you who enjoy spending time thinking about and planning any significant life decision, this may be a welcome diversion. For those of you need quick results, the process may be a little more frustrating!
By taking the time to reflect on your personal style, strengths, achievements and preferences, you will become more focused and targeted in your job search, whether it is a position within your current organisation, or an opportunity in the external market place.
If this all sounds hard work, take a deep breath, the answers are around you. Previous performance reviews, psychometric assessments, 360 degree feedback etc, previous managers, peers, staff, referees and mentors, may provide you with some useful input.
Here are 10 questions to ask yourself as you prepare for your career change:
- How do people describe me?
- What are my strengths? Are these things I enjoy and want to continue using in my job?
- What are my weaknesses or areas for development? Are these important to address now?
- When have I been happiest in my career, and why?
- Have I ever been bored or miserable in a position or organisation? If so, why?
- What kind of industries, organisations and positions appeal to me?
- What are the ‘must haves’ and things I don’t want in my next position?
- What are my generic or transferrable skills?
- What have been my stand-out achievements in the last five years?
- What value do I offer my next employer?
When you have the answers to these questions, you will be well on the way to investigating your next career opportunity.