Thursday, January 20, 2011

Changing Jobs in 2011? Think About Career Fit Before Making a Career Move

I mentioned a couple of weeks back that 84% of North Americans interviewed in a recent survey said they will be looking for a new position in 2011.

The fact is that in North America there is a high level of job dissatisfaction and that means it’s likely that you are, or soon will be, looking for new opportunities yourself.

But before you update that resume and start applying for jobs, let me ask you an important question.

Are you thinking about career fit?

An astounding number of people let their past job titles direct their career paths rather than factors that really matter. Maybe you’ve been reasonably successful in sales, or marketing, or accounts -- but that doesn’t mean those job titles should define you.

So what criteria should you use to direct your career path? Well, there are a number of important factors that I explore with my clients. Here are some questions you can start with:

-- Why are you unhappy or unsatisfied in your current position?
-- What is it about your work that gives you satisfaction and what makes you unhappy?
-- What are things you really enjoy and what do you dread doing each day?
-- Who do you work well with and who do you dislike working with and why?

Make a note of your answers now and start to create your Personal Balance Sheet as you consider what your next career move might be.

At the risk of over-simplifying things, you need to find a job that involves doing the things you enjoy (by the way these are almost invariably the things you are good at) and does not involve doing the things you dislike.

It makes sense to take the time to know how you are wired. This might seem like a no-brainer but I can’t tell you how many people I’ve encountered who have allowed other factors to direct their career paths without questioning them.

If you’ve been unhappy in a previous position it’s vital to work out exactly why you were unhappy. Was it the people you worked with? Were you in the wrong field? Were you in the right field but the wrong company?

Figure these things out and you’re in a much better position to start looking for a job and employer that will fit. And you’ll be in a much better position to find happiness at work.

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