Time to get back in the career game
Over the past several months, given the onslaught of tough economic news and layoffs, many sat on the sidelines and didn’t move forward in their career, waiting for conditions to improve. While nationally, 63 percent of employed people looked for new opportunities during the past several months, there were still many who just sat back on the sidelines, out of fear perhaps.
Well, the wait is over. The economy is improving. Employers are hiring in our region, as well as across the state. New York was one of four states to show an increase in job posting activity – a leading indicator of hiring activity to come – for the month of April, as reported by The Conference Board (www.conference-board.org). In our region alone, job postings are up by over 35 percent from the lows of this past winter and early spring (I monitor these daily and report weekly). The unemployment rate in our region actually went down as reported by the NYS Department of Labor.
What does this mean? Time to get off the sidelines and re-engage in your career.
If you have had those thoughts that it is time for a change, or if you are disenchanted with your present job or career track, make a change and start now. It is high time to put your plan in place, make new contacts, identify new career options, get reenergized, find your passion and be in the game of your life.
Are you ready for a change? A quick survey to help you decide …
I have five questions for you to think about and help you identify if and how ready you are for a change in your career or job. Take a moment, think about each question and be honest with yourself:
Are you simply working for a paycheck, or are you engaged and connected to your career? Yes No
Do you look at others and wish you had their job? Yes No
Do you have the Monday Morning Blues? Yes No
Do you often question your ability and your purpose in work? Yes No
Do you feel you are contributing to your future or just working? Yes No
If you answered yes to two questions, you are ready for a change in the direction of your career and certainly your job. Answered yes to three, you need to engage now and begin. Answered four or five, you are disconnected from your career life and likely this is impacting other parts of your life as well. You must move on or make a radical change in your job.
What to do next?
It’s so easy to say “just move on”, but how and what do you do? If you are ready to make a move and get off the sidelines, it is time to put your plan together including:
Identify your ideal career and job – If you can’t answer this yourself, get the assistance of a career professional. This is absolutely critical before you do anything else. Being in the wrong job or career – one that does not “fit” you, your personality, interests or culture – is like walking around in shoes two sizes too small. You look good, but you are very uncomfortable.
Develop your contact and/or target list – Begin networking and identify where you would like to work and contribute. Seventy percent of jobs are found through networking; it is very important – no, imperative!
Commit to action – Take action focused on moving your career forward. Simply thinking about it won’t work – you need a plan of actions and accountability to yourself. You may have heard in the past, “You cannot manage what you cannot measure.” This is true in career change and job search as well. You must have clearly defined goals and actions – and a method to measure how you are doing. My clients use the Next-Act ActionNow! program which provides clear and measurable daily and weekly actions to drive results and progress. As you achieve a goal, celebrate too, and start on the next one.
I have been waiting for the opportunity to write this column. I have been watching the key indicators to suggest that the time is now to put your career back in high gear. It is time. Do it now! Good luck!
Dan Moran is president & founder of Next-Act, a career management & transition firm located in Colonie. You can reach him at 641.8968 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.next-act.com.