I met Chris for coffee. (Not his real name.) He was complaining that he felt stuck in his job. I asked him if he wanted advice – since some people just want to complain! When he agreed, I said the solution is easy. Take action!
Chris was surprised. What kind of action?
I replied that any action was better than being stuck in an unhappy situation.
Chris had 4 options:
- Make his current job better. Chris could show initiative and volunteer for assignments outside of his current job that are closer to the job he wants. By doing this, Chris is showing his boss the other skills he has. This could lead to expanded job responsibilities.
- Investigate what the company has to offer. There could be excellent opportunities within Chris’ current organization. Chris might not know about the opportunities. If Chris is a good fit with the organization then his boss and HR would rather keep him than have him leave, so they could be helpful in the internal career shift. When I graduated with my MBA, I stayed at my same company but switched from IT to HR. A radical change, but the company wanted to keep me!
- Build relationships for the next job. Chris could start meeting people who can help him move into a better job. Either at his current employer or somewhere else. I’ve heard it said that you should be building your network before you need it. Chris should be creating relationships with people that he can help now and that can help him in his job search in the future. Remember networking is a 2-way street!
- Start the job search outside his current company. Chris had lots of work to do before starting a job search including researching jobs he was interested in, determining his current skills level for those positions, upgrading his skills, re-writing his resume, etc.
The bottom line is this: don’t feel stuck in your current job. Take action!
By the way, Chris decided to stay at his organization. After volunteering for some new projects and talking with his boss about opportunities inside the company, he transferred to a new position and is much happier. Chris just needed to take action.
Want to meet for a “virtual coffee”? We can meet for a free 15-minute coaching session. Valerie.MacLeod@HainesCentre.com