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Finding happiness in your career...time for the next step?

Sarah Reid Tax within Professional Services, Career Advice

The last few months have led many of us to look at the world differently. Before COVID-19, most of us lived busy lives in which we yearned for more time in the day. Whilst our present situations may vary, many of us now have more time available for reflection than we did before. This presents us with an invaluable opportunity to think about the areas of our life in which we are happy or not, including our careers.

Having spent much of the last few months speaking with candidates who have been utilising this time of pause for self-reflection and examining the trajectory of their professional career, I have put together a few questions that I feel are important for anyone who wants to assess their long-term professional goals and aspirations:

  1. Who are you? Reflect on what makes you tick. Understand and appreciate what defines you including your likes and dislikes. Think about your professional life and reflect on what inspires and motivates you. This will help you to understand how you could make changes to your career that will boost your professional fulfilment.
  2. Are you genuinely happy in your current job? It is all too easy to continue on the treadmill of life without really taking time out to think about whether you are truly satisfied with how your days are being filled. Think about what you enjoy and what you do not. What changes could be made to your current role to make you enjoy it more? Is your current job taking your career in the direction you want it to longer term?
  3. What kind of employer do you want to work for? Often people I speak with candidates who enjoy their job, however, they are not in the right environment, so it is important to consider whether your personal values align with those of your employer. In times of crisis, the way organisations react has a huge impact on their employer brand. Perhaps you’ve been disappointed by your current employer’s internal and external response to the pandemic or particularly impressed by that of another business.
  4. Are you being supported to progress your career as you wish? As you use this time to reflect, you may realise that you have skills which are not being utilised or skills that you want to develop. Are there certain roles that you aspire to move into, for which you will require skills you don’t yet have? Perhaps now is the time to look for a new role that can support these aspirations.
  5. How do you work best? The current circumstances have forced many of us to work in ways that we have never done previously. As a result, you are likely to have already formed certain habits, and become more aware of triggers and distractions that could hamper your productivity. So, why not use this time to consider how you work best, based on what you have learned while working in isolation? Once you understand these patterns, it will be easier for you to self-manage and work as productively as possible, wherever you are working for the rest of your career.

It’s all too easy to let life take over to the extent that we lose sight of what we really want to be doing with our lives. It is important to continually push ourselves to take a step back and appreciate the ‘big picture’ in our careers. This helps to ensure that you have a satisfying and successful professional life in the long run. If this has resonated with you…great! The team at Brewer Morris is here if you would like to have a sounding board or would like to understand what opportunities might be available to you in a market that meets your aspirations better than your current employer.