Career Assessment Advice

Each year we move our clocks forward and backward by one hour. For some people, the time shift induces a time lag that makes starting work on Monday harder than usual. I promise you’ll adjust to the time. I’m not so sure you’ll ever adjust to feeling that your job is hard.

Spring is a good time to assess your job, your career, and your teams. With the economy still growing (virus fears aside) there are opportunities to explore. This month, I want to talk about career assessments. Dig deeper than the performance review. Really rate levels of satisfaction.

  • Are you satisfied with the work you are doing?
  • Are your co-workers satisfied with the work you are producing?
  • Are you satisfied with the people you work with?
  • Are the people around you happy?

It’s fine, normal even, for people to not love everything they are asked to do. You assign a recurring project to a particular staffer and he grumbles. Is he grumbling over the assignment or is it deeper? Does his attitude and work product spill into other parts of the department? Maybe he needs a new assignment or maybe he needs a new job.

Career Assessment

If waking up and facing the day is hard for you, evaluate why? Is it the commute you hate, a particular co-worker, or is it the job itself? Issues like commutes and communication in the office can be dealt with. Larger issues of not liking your career need larger solutions.

It’s natural for managers and leaders to feel as if they are responsible for keeping teams on track. But who keeps the leaders on track when they are unsure of their jobs and satisfaction levels? Sure, there is always someone above you. Even C-suite jobs report to boards and shareholders. It’s unlikely though, the chair of the board will sit down with you and say, I noticed you don’t seem happy with your job lately.

It’s important to recognize signs of career burnout in yourself and in your teams.

  • Are you still learning new things at work and from others?
  • Do you care about learning new things?
  • Are you working in a particular industry because you’re fully invested in it – school, training, expectations? By this I mean you went to business school, earned an MBA but really want to raise alpacas.

If you’re feeling stuck in a rut, seeking outside support such as mentors, career and business coaches, and even professional peers can help. This is good advice for your teams as well. You may have a high performer who is unhappy. Pairing her or him with a mentor, potentially in a different department or even outside your business, could be the difference between replacing someone who leaves or retaining a valuable member of your team.

We lead busy lives, so busy we don’t stop enough to examine if we are satisfied with the work we do or if we are simply stuck in our jobs. Sometimes we need to deal with stuck because stuck comes with a comfortable salary and essential benefits, like health insurance or teleworking. We can also move ourselves and our teams forward with training for new positions and roles, explore how to expand jobs and responsibilities. You may just discover, you do like coming to work, even on a Monday.

I welcome your feedback, ideas, and the chance to connect anytime you want to say hello. Contact me with your questions and goals for the year ahead.