How to make your career work for you
Even if you’re working in a dream job, you can feel stuck if you aren’t constantly developing. But while it may appear the best option is to look for other employment – there’s often things you can do to get your current job moving in the right direction again. Here are our recommendations for getting your career where you want it to be.
Set achievable targets
It’s often tempting to aim for ambitious goals. While you should do this where possible, don’t forget the importance of plotting some smaller target to reach for along the way. Things can get overwhelming when you’re thinking about tasks that are going to take years to achieve. Every month — or, better yet, every week — set a goal or two which you know you’ve got a real shot at meeting. And make sure to celebrate if you do. Not only with this make your work more consistently rewarding in the short term, but you’ll be better organised and positioned to meet those long term goals further down the line.
Locate your niche – and get closer to it
You might be unhappy with your particular job, but if you’re working at a large company there may be scope for something more closely aligned with your ambitions and talents. Don’t sit around, jealous of your friend down the hall who’s doing the work you really want to be involved with – explore your options. Leaving a business to find a job you want more than what you’re doing now can be a difficult and inefficient process – particularly when something ideal might be closer than you think.
Make your hours accommodate your needs
It’s in your employer’s best interests to ensure you’re achieving your best work. If you’re hours need adjusting to make this happen, then approach them and see if you can come to an arrangement. If you’re doing shift work, there’s often a way round working on certain days that don’t fit your schedule so you can work more on ones that do. You might be more able to work on weekends, for example, freeing you to take more time off in the week if your life outside work requires it. Or you might be able to arrange to come in an hour earlier in the morning to get ahead on work that usually gets rushed, then leave earlier at the end of the day.
Voice your concerns
If you’ve got troubles at work, you can start to feel trapped, which will make those problems worse, increasing your stress and decreasing the quality of your work. If that starts to happen, consider talking to your employer about it. The key is to approach the situation in the right way. Of course, you want to make your job work for you and accommodate your life outside work, but it’s also an investment in the business you’re working for because you’ll be a happier employee for solving your problems.