New Year’s is a common time for rethinking one’s choices and direction in life, but fall is another time when many people contemplate their career development path.
A recent Harvard Business Review piece explains: “Fall is a time when career regrets tug more strongly than during the laidback summer months. New jobs appear on job boards, and many colleagues and friends move on to new careers or go off to graduate school.” And if you think about it, most of us are culturally programmed to see the fall as the beginning of a new school year and a time for a fresh start, new classes, and new faces, after spending so much time getting an education before joining the workforce.
Are you unhappy with your current career development? Believe it or not, even in today’s economic climate, there are ways to feel more confident about your career choices.
How to Improve Your Job Fit
1. Spend time thinking, journaling, and brainstorming about your job. What is making you unhappy about your current position or your overall career development direction? What choices do you wish you had made differently? What elements are missing from your job each day? According to the Harvard Business Review, thinking specifically about your regrets or unhappiness can improve the situation, as “Just that exploration will re-invigorate you and set you on a better path.”
2. Consider yourself. What are your primary goals? Your most exciting interests? Your untapped skills? Your hidden strengths? What would bring you more joy and satisfaction each day? How could you improve your job fit, either in this position or in a new job?
3. Seek out new experiences. Even if your current position isn’t setting your soul on fire, you can find opportunities to volunteer in areas of interest. You can take classes or pursue new training options. Expand your horizons, and you may find that your career development follows suit.
4. Brainstorm new ideas with trusted friends or colleagues who are creative and upbeat. Could your current skill set be more valued or more exciting in a different industry? Could your current position be modified to better fit your talents? Could you move into a different division within the same company? Could you go back to school part-time to start the process of changing your career development direction?