Spring clean your career: 5 ways to reassess if your job is right for you

Written by
Bev White

16 Mar 2016

16 Mar 2016 • by Bev White

Lighter evenings, Fitbits on wrists and green juices in hand, it can only mean one thing; spring is fast approaching. It’s also a time of year that people start considering more serious life changes, and re-evaluating whether they have the energy and drive to spend another year in the same circumstances.

Whether it’s staying in ‘that house’, being with ‘that person’ or, in this case, sticking at ‘that job’, now is a time when people will contemplate change. If you’re feeling like this then you’re not alone, as our research found that one in five (21%) workers are planning to move jobs this year.

But is changing job really necessary? Many will be lured by the prospect of drastic change at this time of year, particularly after following new year's resolutions and willpower is strong. But changing job will have long term ramifications on your life, so it is a decision that shouldn’t be taken as lightly as a brand new gym membership. In fact, it’s often the case that people just need to make a few adjustments to their approach with their current job to re-engage them in their careers again.

Here are my five top tips to consider before jumping ship:

1. Instigate regular career conversations

Unfortunately, many businesses still insist on having annual appraisals. While well intended, they often are nothing more than a box ticking exercise – leaving employees to ‘get on with it’ for the next twelve months.

Businesses and teams rarely stay the same for a year, so objectives soon become outdated. In order to break this cycle, take matters into your own hands and instigate regular and informal career conversations with your line manager. This way, you can have more regular touch points to check that you are still on the right track – constantly learning and amending your career path along the way.

2. Find out about training opportunities

Wanting greater development opportunities (44%) was one of the main reasons employees said why they would look for a job in the new year. But have you made this very clear to your manager or HR department yet? After all, if you don’t ask you don’t get.

Rather than leaving your job under a cloud, frustrated with the lack of training and development you received, ask your manager what training opportunities you can be put forward for.

Even better, do your research and prepare a list of training opportunities you want to pursue. If you can show the impact it is likely to have on your professional development and also the company, managers will be much more likely to consider it.

3. Find a mentor

A great mentor is usually someone that has more experience than you and is outside of your immediate working realm. They could be in a different team or not in your company at all, but make sure that your mentor has the relevant skills and experience that you think you could benefit and learn from.

Your company may already run a mentoring scheme, which would be worthwhile investigating, or you could find your own mentor – someone that you respect and admire. Mentors can depart their hard earned knowledge, helping you to work through your own personal hurdles, suggesting ways you could develop your current role. They may have experience in supporting effective business mergers for example, something that you may be looking to increase your exposure to.

Mentors can help re-invigorate your career, sparking passion for the profession again.

4. Consider an internal move

It may be the case that you like the company still, but feel you may have outgrown your current role. Many organisations are keen to hold on to talented people, so approach your manager or HR department about whether there is an opportunity to work elsewhere within the business. It could be that you love your job in marketing – but want to try marketing for the private sector arm of the business, instead of your current public sector role.

This will give you the change you crave, but without being such a drastic move as changing job completely.

5. Make change happen

Fed up of making requests for change and never getting anywhere? Maybe it’s time to be braver in your career, take control and drive the change you want to see.

Has team cohesiveness gone awry? Then be the person to get everyone working well together again, rather than waiting for someone else to do it.

Think the junior team has a lot to learn in order to be truly effective? Take control of their learning and development and bring everyone up to speed together.

Some of the very things we can get frustrated about, making us want to change job, can be fixed if we apply a bit of energy, bravery and grafting – helping to re-engage you in your role in the process.