In a recent workshop for executives, participants were mixed in their next career move – some wanted to advance at the current employer, some wanted to change jobs, still others wanted a new career altogether, while some wanted to start a business and others wanted to be more effective where they were but not make a move up or out. There are many options for a next career move, so how do you decide which one is best for you? Use these four questions to help narrow down your career goals:
Do you LOVE your career?
Do you love the industry that you’re in? Do you love your function – what you do day-to-day? Do you love the location where you work and the geographic scope of your role? Are you satisfied with your compensation? Do you like your boss, colleagues and senior management? It’s easy to stay on autopilot if you don’t remind yourself to look up from your desk and ask yourself these questions. Your answers will reveal if you should stay at your company, in your industry, and in your role.
Should you STAY where you are?
You may have answered in the affirmative for questions about loving your career, in which case it might make sense to stay. But should you stay? If you like your company and want to grow within, you need to make sure there is a path to progress and you won’t have a promotion blocked. Even if you don’t care about advancement, you can’t assume the company will never change its culture or your role. You also need to guard against complacency leading to outdated skills or your profile becoming less competitive. Even if you love where you are, you need to stay vigilant of changes to your company, your situation, and your market value
Do you have a POINT B or do you just want to leave Point A?
If you answered in the negative for questions about loving your career, then you should make changes. But what changes? The best moves pull you forward to an improved situation and aren’t based on being pushed out from where you are. Do you know what your Point B is that would represent an improved situation from where you are (Point A)? If not, experimentation to get more clarity on this is your next career move. If you have a clear Point B, learning as much as you can about your new field is the next career move.
Do you love your LIFE?
Sometimes career dissatisfaction can actually be cured by getting the rest of your life in order – relationships, health, finances, environment, and personal interests are some of the big areas to look at. At the very least, working on these areas will give you a solid foundation if you decide to still make career changes. Or changes in these other areas may provide enough positive momentum that you don’t need to make big changes to your career (except for staying on top of your market, which you always should do).
What career moves will you make?