Let's be honest, 2022 wasn't the best, was it? But it's on its way out, and a new year is heading our way. Is it time to re-think, review and renew your approach to your career?
Goodbye 2022, I doubt many people will miss you
About this time in 2021, we thought that the coming year had to be better. After the lockdowns and pandemic, it seemed unlikely that things could get any more unsettled. Then 2022 came along and seemed to say, 'Pft, that was nothing, hold my coat,' and against what seemed like all odds, it went sideways. I don't want to dwell on it too much because this is about looking forwards. That said, it is worth a quick recap; just remember that the year started with a work-from-home order that eventually lifted in late January, then war broke out in Ukraine, fuel prices went through the roof, the cost of living started to rise and then soared, the bank rates rose, mortgages went up and finally, just to finish up the years, there were strikes everywhere. Not a good year, to say the least. As a friend of mine joked recently, "I miss the lockdowns sometimes; at least you knew what was happening tomorrow."
OK, enough of the past; let's move on to 2023.
Thinking about your employment prospects and career in 2023
When it comes to your career, I am not a fan of New Year's resolutions. The problem with them is twofold. Firstly, we all know we never stick to them, so it makes it easier to drop them. Secondly, I am not sure how sensible fixed resolutions are, based on the last few years. If we have learned one thing from 2020 onwards, it is to be flexible and adapt. Rather than make a resolution then, why not take stock and see where you are. Make this about you, not just big promises.
Here is a process of assessing your career goals that is focused on the here and now and what works for you in the coming year:
- Rather than look outward and say, 'what jobs are there?', look inward and ask, 'what do I want?'. Bearing in mind the point below and keeping it real, what do you want to achieve career-wise in the coming year? Now, assess your chances of getting there. If your current role is allowing you to get where you need to be, or I guess if you have no ambitions for the new year, then you know where you stand. That said, read on anyway; these suggestions are still worth doing. If you find you can't see that your current role is right, then let's do something about it.
- If you aren't satisfied with your role or not sure it is taking you where you want to go, then clearly, you need to explore options. Fire up the laptop and write down where your current role does and doesn't meet what you want to happen next year. Then, trust me on this, it's worth doing. Write out a paragraph as if you were writing a job description of what your ideal role would look like.
- Now add a second paragraph about what your ideal employer would sound like. A good employer that aligns with your values and respects your career goals is not too much to ask for.
- The next step is to be realistic about all this. Changing jobs to get what you want sometimes means looking for promotion or tweaking your skillset. Are you ready for a more senior position? If you feel you are, then you probably are. If you aren't ready or some other factors such as experience or skills are working against you, then go and amend your employer and job description to compensate. Perhaps add training and development in there to start you down the track you want to be on.
- This is the second realism checkpoint. The inflation and utilities price rises from 2022 are still rumbling on, so you need to really think about salary and benefits. Write down three 'realistic levels' of salary package. Do a top-rank 'instant yes' salary package that is actually a possibility for the jobs you are qualified for, a second one that is still a comfortable level for you to live on if prices continue to go up a little and a third one that is acceptable if the job made it worth doing for the future growth of your career. Remember things like a reduced commute or working from home can make a big difference, particularly to that last one.
- What you have in front of you at the end of all that, is a job description, ideal employer, and salary range. Now it's a matter of looking at the job market to see if there is anything that works for you. Call us, and we'll get together and look through your options.
2022 is almost behind us. Let's build on what successes there were and look at 2023 as an opportunity to push your career to new heights. A good look at what you want may produce total satisfaction with where you are now. In which case, isn't that great news to have? If, on the other hand, it raises a few doubts or tells you it's time to move, contact us and let's have an informal chat.