“Julie Bauke, Chief Career Happiness Officer of The Bauke Group and Workplace Expert on 700 WLW and Fox 19-TV, offers the following advice that you may find useful.”
Career Happiness- Define It, Get It, Own It!
Are you where you want to be in your career? No? Are you willing to act, to do the hard work necessary to be “Career Happy?” If yes, read on.
How do you feel as the clock creeps toward evening on Sunday, and the inevitability of the end of the weekend is upon you? If you start getting cranky, irritable, checking for flu symptoms with hopeful anticipation, truly dreading the upcoming five days, that’s a sign that you may be in a job or company that is not right for you. Really assess what the source of your dread is. If it’s just typical melancholy that Monday is next up on the calendar, relax. You’re normal. But if week after week, you find yourself thinking up reasons to NOT be at work, sliding in right at or after the start of the work day, slipping out at every opportunity, hanging out on Facebook, and just generally trying to put an “x” on another day on the calendar, you can either fix it yourself or wait for your company to fix it for you. And I don’t mean by giving you a nice promotion and fat raise.
Our careers are a big piece of our lives and it cannot be overlooked as a major source of the development of our identities, self esteem, and our sense of place in the world. Let’s face it, it’s also the place we spend the majority of our waking hours.
If you recognize yourself in any of this, or have known for some time that you Really Need to Move On from your present work situation, who can you call to fix it for you? The answer to this question is probably the source of the complacency or lack of action on the part of most. It is hard work and it’s all you, baby.
Recruiters can’t do it for you, neither can career coaches, your mother, or CareerBuilder. All can provide some guidance, information and insight, but the down and dirty work is all yours. On top of your current job and all of your billion other responsibilities, piece of cake, right?
If you’re really unhappy, that will begin to show in the quality of your work, your attitude, your work relationships, and your results- if it hasn’t already. When your company looks to trim their workforce, guess whose name may surface behind those closed doors? Then you’re in a position of having to figure all of this stuff out with the additional pressure of being unemployed.
> Can I identify and articulate my skills, traits and experiences to anyone who asks?
> Once identified, do I know how those might be transferable, or of value, to organizations other than my own?
> Am I familiar with what other companies are located inside my target geography and do I know whether they hire people with my skills?
> If my company shut the doors tomorrow, what would I do? Would I stay in my same field, or try something new? What would that be?
> If I could do anything, with no income constraints, what would it be?
Tough questions, aren’t they?
If you like your organization, but not your job, (or your boss!), start looking around inside. Build relationships with people in departments that catch your interest. Make it a goal to find out about your organization’s top priorities and goals for the upcoming year. How can you make yourself a key player, central to achievement of those goals? Figure out how your skills and experiences can be utilized differently in your organization, for the benefit of both the organization and your career development.
If you don’t feel like you fit in your company, begin to research what other companies might be a better fit for you. Talk to people you know and trust, check out company websites, pay attention when people talk about their jobs. Companies, like people, have personalities. It’s called culture. As with the people you meet throughout your life, some company cultures will be a fit for you and some won’t.
And if you decide that you’re just in the wrong career, don’t despair. Many people have come to the same conclusion, made big changes, and lived to tell about it. Whatever your dream is, it may not be as out of reach as you think. It may not happen in your next move, but what about the move after that? People are living and working longer, reinventing themselves again and again. Why not you?
Take the first step toward taking control of your career, whatever feels comfortable for you. Write down your goals, talk about them with people who know you. Look for people who do what you think you might like to do. Ask them a lot of questions. Use the internet for research. All of this can be done without sacrificing the quality of your work in your current job. A thousand baby steps can add up to giant leaps. Before you know it, you’re starting that new position that you’ve only dreamed of.
And Sunday becomes just another day on the calendar.
Julie Bauke, Chief Career Happiness Officer of The Bauke Group, believes that we all deserve to be Career Happy. You can learn more at www.thebaukegroup.com