Do you remember, in the beginning of your relationship, how you loved being together, how your eyes would light up at the thought of the new activities and adventures you would have, how you would say “thank you” when people said the two of you do so well together, and how you felt so complete and purposeful?
Good, you remember, because I’m talking about your job! If you are no longer feeling the joy and satisfaction of being together, then it is time to break up!
Here are some tips to check if it’s over between you and your employer:
- It’s not you, it’s the profession. Professional environments often create silo mentalities when it comes to outside industry resources and tools. So that leaves you to function in your profession only with what is available to you via your organization. Just working within what you have doesn’t allow for professional development. Whether you are advancing in your role, responsibilities, skills, or income, your workplace should inspire and facilitate professional growth.
- What have you done for me lately? The world of work has changed, and bosses no longer come to us with their career plan for us. Today, it’s your responsibility to have a career vision and an executable plan to get you there. Stop and evaluate whether you are where you thought you would be by now. If not, what are you going to do about it? A suggestion is to create a personal career vision. Where do you see yourself in the next three to five years and what needs to happen to get you on that journey (e.g., certification/training classes, continued education, a mentor, or skills development).
- Are you seeing someone else? A strong personal brand is the hallmark of a savvy professional, and if done appropriately and consistently, it is bound to attract the right attention. Bosses are quietly interviewing other hopefuls who have strong personal brands, so identify your personal brand and create a branding strategy that will showcase your skills and expertise to the right audience. Building a rich professional network can also help connect you to the hidden job market.
- We need some time apart. Downsizing is the perfect cover that companies use to refresh their talent pool. Be pro-active and update your career communication documents (i.e., resume, cover letter, and professional bio) so that you can be ready to send them out at a moment’s notice. Do informational interviews during your employment so your interviewing skills are up to par. Keep your LinkedIn profile current with relevant keywords and phrases for search engine optimization. And become a passive job seeker so you are always entertaining new opportunities.
The reality is that no relationship lasts forever, and sometimes we overstay our welcome.
If you are experiencing any of the above, now is the time to put together an exit strategy of a voluntary career transition plan.
Breaking up is hard to do, so do it with integrity.
What other career transition techniques have you used?