Learning the ropes of a new job can be exciting or daunting, but it’s rarely boring. Once you’ve been at it for a while and the learning curve begins to wane you may start to wish for more challenges. Opportunities for personal growth may seem like they’ve come to a stop leaving you wondering if there’s anything new you can glean from your current job. But you might want to consider giving your current position a little lift. Rather than starting from the ground up, why not spruce up a tired routine by giving your role at work a mini makeover? Chances are a few small changes will go a long way.
Making the Most of Your Job
Refreshing your role on the job is about reinvigorating what you already have. By choosing this path, you can infuse your work with the same excitement and spirit you had when you started working at the company without demolishing the foundation that you’ve built over time. It is possible to regain the ‘green behind the ears’ enthusiasm you once had while also keeping the valued work relationships and hard-earned seniority you have achieved.
Before you can realize your career goals you need to honestly assess your strengths and weaknesses. What do you excel at and what skills are you lacking? Are you hoping to move into a management position or explore other avenues within the company? If so, consider the qualities, experience and education you need to get there. Even if your aspirations exceed your abilities, it doesn’t have to mean you’ll never accomplish your long term goals, but you may need to take some calculated steps to close the gap.
From upgrading your computer skills, to taking classes to work towards specialized accreditation in your industry, adult education or training sessions are usually a good place to start strengthening the foundations of your career path. Education can also help you feel more confident in your abilities and open your eyes to new ways of doing things.
Finding a good mentor is another way to boost your skills. A mentor can help you identify and enhance your skill set and introduce you to career options within the company you may not have considered before. Mentors can also be a great sounding board to bounce your career path ideas off of. The investment of time and talents that a mentor provides can offer you an invaluable experience with lasting results.
The important—and often difficult part of taking stock—is self-evaluation. You may need to ask a colleague or a friend for their own objective assessment of your skills and flaws. Being open to constructive feedback may be a challenge, but it will improve your understanding of how others perceive you and can also help you get to know yourself better.
Weighing Your Options
Once you’ve uncovered what areas you need to improve upon, decide where it is you want to go. This takes thorough investigation, so it’s vital that you do your homework. Learn about the different departments in your organization and how they work. Join a committee or take on a role you wouldn’t normally do. You’ll not only feel good about your new found skills, but others are also sure to take notice.
Remember, when considering your options, don’t limit yourself. Keep your thoughts positive and self-affirming. Replace confining statements such as, “I can’t do that” with ones that take a more active approach like, “What skills I need to master to move up?” Negative thoughts may actually be the source of dissatisfaction keeping you from pursuing your dreams. Boost your confidence, lighten your attitude and support new skill development by:
Taking initiative. Want to demonstrate your organizational and people skills but find it difficult in your current role? Then look for opportunities outside the sphere of your job. Volunteer to organize the next company event or offer to help train new coworkers as a way of tapping into unleashed potential. If you are bored, take on a ‘make work’ project that will allow you to dig into an area you find interesting. Taking initiative lets you explore your interests, shows colleagues what you’re capable of and gives you the satisfaction of knowing you’re helping others in the process.
Taking another look. Joining a professional organization or socializing with like-minded people through a training workshop may help you gain the fresh perspective you need on your career. It can also offer new approaches to your job you might not have considered.
Weighing your options is an active process that gives you the chance to seek out new tasks and explore possibilities for growth. It usually takes time, imagination and a bit of effort, but the rewards are worth it: it will help you rediscover what you enjoy and places you back in the driver’s seat of your own career.
Drawing up the Blueprints
After recognizing your strengths and weaknesses and weighing your options, it’s time to start laying out your plan. Setting goals is important to making progress. You can motivate yourself and maximize your opportunities for success by:
Knowing your wants – Leave no room for ambiguity. Keep your goals clear and you will find that your plans naturally become more concrete too.
Putting pen to paper – Solidify and legitimize your goals by writing them down. Setting structured objectives can make the difference between a real world goal and a mere ‘wish.’
Making your goals attainable – Setting smaller, achievable goals will keep up your confidence and help you stay motivated on the way to your ultimate objective.
Setting deadlines – Setting due dates for your goals will help you remain focused on attaining them.
Making your wants a priority – Be ready to adjust your targets to reflect the priorities in your life and be flexible about changing them if they shift.
Valuing your wants – Your goals need to be in sync with your values or you may end up disappointed by ‘empty’ achievements.
Building Good Rapport
Good communication is not only an important part of an organization’s success, but it’s also a key quality of any highly-regarded worker. Old fashioned good manners haven’t gone out of style and taking a professional, courteous approach shows colleagues you respect them and in return earns their respect.
Practice listening attentively
Be a team player
Maintain ties with key contacts
Reap the Rewards of Job Renewal
No matter where you are in your career, it’s important to take a step back regularly and assess the path you’re on. Knowing where your skills lie and how to improve them will help you reach your potential and attain job satisfaction. When you are prepared to succeed, you will be able to rise to new challenges when they happen and face unexpected changes with skill, grace and ease.
Refreshing your job is about exploring the potential in yourself and your organization. It means taking a proactive approach to change and renewal instead of leaving a hard-earned foundation behind. Taking ownership of your career will put you on a path that may at times be unexpected, but is ultimately more fulfilling.