How to Explore New Career Options
You hate it. Your current career is no longer exciting, perhaps it never was. You have lost the zeal to stick it out and you are stuck in a daze of routine.
At some point in everyone’s life, they will encounter a moment like this. It is inevitable. Sometimes they need a boost to spice things up in the working romance, but if the symptoms persist, then you need to get rid of the cause – your job! Deep-rooted problems can’t be cured with quick fixes.
The first thing that you need to do is to identify the problem. Is there a lack of motivation, terrible higher authority, no chance of development? Sit down and access the situation thoroughly. Is it you, the job, or a combination?
Did you know that it is possible to outgrow your job? It’s the same way you would outgrow the company you keep. Maturation is part of existing. At first, you feel contrite for not being as interested. As time goes on, you might even feel resentful and out of place. Tension with the workplace can occur for many reasons. Do you feel unappreciated? Do you put in more than you get out? All of these things add up and your once pristine view of work has become muddied.
Reflection is crucial; you don’t want to leave your job if the problem can be easily remedied. If there is a problem with a coworker or seniority, then try resolving it in a civil manner. Speak up! If you feel under-compensated, then speak to your manager. Voice your concerns, if you still don’t feel acknowledged, then consider leaving.
Great employees have great leverage for negotiations. Don’t underestimate yourself. Companies are willing to bend to accommodate those who do the same.
Tension and stress from other places can seep into our passions and taint them. Are you really upset with your career or are you trying to make a drastic change to assume control over something else? Examine your personal and social life. Be honest and open with yourself. If you aren’t sure, then reach out to someone you know will be objective about your situation.
If all the stars align and signs are all showing that it is time to move on, then do so. Make sure to plan for it. Reality and film fantasy is not the same – you can’t just walk out of the office after proclaiming something clever with the backing of a thumping soundtrack.
You have to plan for it. Leaving your job won’t solve all of your problems. You have to decide how you are going to sustain yourself after. You need to determine what the best path is for you. Some people know dead-on what they want to pursue, while others require some soul-searching. If you are the latter, then hold onto that resignation letter because internal exploration won’t pay your bills or put food on the table.
Create a plan for your future. Make sure you have definite, well-defined goals. Also, know how you are going to achieve those goals. These aren’t items on a wishful to-do list, there are concrete, actionable items. If you want to go through further education or even start your own business, then ensure that you have a slush fund or the financial assistance to do so.
If you want to shift into a new industry, then start by familiarizing yourself with it. Networking online and offline will help you to do this. You will develop connections with industry insights so as to give you a clearer picture of what to expect.
Be aware of contract stipulations. If you required to assist in the transition phase, then prepare. Also, take note of how far in advance you should give notice. It is typically two weeks before, but for more technical positions it might be more. If there is no stipulation, then you should decide when to tell your employer. The transition phase should allow you to complete any tasks and organize your files, so the next person can take your place with ease.
You should be ready now. Even if you are in a casual work environment, you should type a resignation letter as a formality. It serves as official documentation for your departure, so keep it short and simple. Of course, this letter won’t be your final communication with your workplace. Have a sit-down with your boss to explain that you want to explore different opportunities and to show appreciation for what you have learnt during your time there.
However, not everyone leaves their job on good terms. Rarely, you will encounter an employer who will react poorly. Be respectful, but upfront about why you are leaving. Discuss what has affected you, even if it is negative. Don’t be scared about a bad reference. The job market is competitive, but complacency in a bad work environment will allow mistreatments to continue.
If your current employer takes personal offence to your departure, this should raise red flags. You made the right choice by leaving. Assure them that this is a personal choice. If the discussion escalates, then leave in a diplomatic manner. Remain calm.
At the end of it all, rejoice in your newfound freedom. Your exit was merely the end of one chapter and now you can invest your time and energy into new projects. Don’t ever look back at past experiences as wasted time. Whether you realize it or not, you learnt a lot from your job, discovered new truths about yourself and made valuable connections. Use this wealth to continue your journey.
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