Dithering over your next career move? Here’s how to evaluate your options and decide what to do next.
Do you feel stuck when deciding on your next career move? Don’t worry, it’s actually quite normal.
We all have so much pressure and so many things that need to be looked at - i.e. applications to write, companies to contact, telephone interviews and surveys and aptitude tests and screenings to pass. And to top it off there’s the process of knowing we’ll have to deal with rejection, and we all know how much we want to avoid that. So we put it off till tomorrow and the next day and the day after that and soon it’s been a few months and not much has changed. If this is you, know that you are not in this alone. If you’re feeling the strain, try the following ways to get yourself moving forward so that you break the cycle of procrastination:
Remember Your WHY
Whenever you’re in doubt, or feel like you’re stuck in a rut, it’s good to pull away and just take some time out to think about WHY you want to make the next career move. Ask yourself "where do I want to be in the next 2-3 years?" If you’re clear on what you’d like to achieve then it may help you better define your career choices, making it easier to step into the next role with confidence that you’re on the right track. Being able to even visualise how great you’ll feel in your next career move can really inspire you to make it happen and kick your procrastination habit.
List Your Career Likes & Dislikes
It’s a really worthwhile exercise to list all the things we like and dislike in our current work environment. Doing this will help you appreciate the qualities in your career that you want to continue to grow and nurture, and look for in your next role. Listing the things you dislike is equally important because you can now address this in your job searches so that you don’t attract these things again. Doing this on a regular basis will make you re-evaluate the jobs you’re applying for in a new light, now that you are aware of what factors really motivate and inspire you.
Prioritise Your Tasks
Job searching can seem like such hard work. First there’s the endless hours searching for that dream job, then the joys of tidying up that old resume, writing multiple cover letters and finding the time to go to interviews - all while trying to balance your current job. One way to overcome this is to break your tasks into smaller chunks that won’t take up your entire day or evening. Commit to doing things in one or two hour blocks, i.e. researching dream companies or updating one section of your resume. Prioritising your activities in small chunks will stop you from feeling overwhelmed.
Maintain Your Focus and Avoid Distraction
Most people tend to have short attention spans and jump from one task to another without completing anything and allow themselves to get easily distracted with things like TV, Facebook, cleaning, or simply working too much. The best way to beat distraction is to allow yourself the time to carefully map out a plan of action to follow. Pilots have a carefully laid out roadmap that ensures they get a plane thousands of kilometers across the world to an exact spot within a few mins of the designed timeframe. Amazing? Not really. Having a roadmap will be your best friend and guide to ensuring you get to your end goal. Making it happen is then up to you.
Find An Accountability Buddy
There’s a good chance you know someone else who’s job searching - and there’s a fairly good chance they too are struggling with procrastinating their career move. It may be worthwhile to commit to a regular catch-up to ensure that each of you does the necessary activities that will eventuate in landing that ideal career opportunity. Sometimes just having someone to encourage you - ie a good friend or family member- is the way to ensure you remain positive and stay on track.
The results can be truly transformational, not just for your career but in all aspects of your life. Stop wasting precious time putting things off till tomorrow - start today.
Gavin is proof that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Having completed an MBA and a successful corporate career at IBM and Oracle, he successfully made the transition to running several of his own businesses and has helped many others to do the same. Gavin is an active speaker, coach and author of Break Free From Corporate - Be Your Own Boss (available on Amazon) and runs a program designed to help people during their transition.