Are you happy at work? Do you jump out of bed excited about tackling your next project? Or are you counting down the days until your holidays or retirement?
If you answered ‘yes’ to the last question, it might be time to give your career a health check. We all know the benefits of having regular medical check-ups but, just like your body, your career needs a regular review to make sure you’re on track to meet your goals.
Do a career health check
The average time Aussies spend in a job is about 3 years and 4 months (as at June 2014)1 so if you’ve been in your job for more than three years, now might be a good time to give your career a quick health check.
But before you hit the search button on your favourite recruitment site, take time to work out what you really want to do – then you’ll have more chance of finding, or working towards, the job that will make you happy.
Here are some tips for a career health check:
1. Take your pulse. List your top three work achievements over the last year. If you’re struggling to come up with any, think about where you want to be in five or ten years’ time. Will your current job get you there?
2. Check your vital signs. List the top five reasons (in priority order) you're in your current job. If you're ranking your bonus and long-service leave higher than your job satisfaction, then things might be a little out of balance. It might be time to ask yourself whether you're at the right place in your career.
3. Take your own medicine. Think about how you could improve your career prospects:
- Refresh your personal brand - update your Linkedin profile, write a blog or upload articles which are relevant to your career.
- Update your resume with your recent achievements. Make sure they match the type of work you're looking for.
- Do you need to study, get some training or update your skills?
- Attend professional development events, workshops, seminars and conferences.
- Join professional associations to meet like-minded people in your industry.
- Collaborate in online forums where you can show your expertise on a subject.
Should you stay or should you go?
It’s one of the hardest questions to answer. Can you achieve your career goals where you are or do you need to look for a fresh start somewhere else?
If you’ve built up a solid reputation at your current employer, consider applying for a different role at the same company to give you a new challenge.
Perhaps you want more life/work balance? If so, you could consider working part-time, as a consultant or doing freelance jobs.
But if you still feel as though you’re just going through the motions, it could be time to get on the front foot and take action. A career health check could help you to keep you on track, reignite your spark and help you get (and keep) the job you’ve always wanted.
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The best ways to sustain or improve physical, mental and financial wellbeing are sometimes the simplest.