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New year, new job? Look before you leap

New year, new job? Look before you leap
Missing the swoosh of the waves on the shore, the taste of salt on your lips from your recent dip in the ocean, the call of seagulls while you lie on your towel heating up? Maybe you are missing your afternoon ice-cream or your evening beer? If so, you are not alone.

Coming back to work after the Xmas holidays is never easy and it can be difficult to acclimatize to the icy temperature of the office air conditioning. Perhaps your colleagues are not as chirpy as they were at the Xmas party and suddenly your manager wants you to be ‘excited’ and ‘energized’ ready for the new year ahead.

So, you think “That’s it, it’s a new year, I’ll resign and find a new job where things will be better”.

Hold on... not so fast. It's an unpredictable world out there, and you may be able to make what you have work for you before packing it in and looking for something new. It's time to look before you leap.

Firstly, remember that it is always hard to come down from the bliss of summer holidays where responsibilities have drifted into the ether and the main issues you have are not getting sunburnt and deciding what to eat for lunch. Holidays are only fun because we don’t have them all the time. In the end we all need to have a purpose in life.

Secondly, what don’t you like about your current role? Is it just that you’ve come back from holiday and must remember how to log in to your computer, or is it something more tangible? Is it the team? The management styles? The industry of work? Or is it just that something needs to change?

Have a think about what you want to achieve from your career. List the pros and cons of your role against your career goals so that you can give yourself an objective perspective. Where there are cons, consider what you can change in your current role?

Perhaps you could:

  • Identify some areas for development and research some relevant training courses
  • Think about working across other teams within your organization
  • Talk to your manager about your career goals and ask them to help you achieve those goals
  • Do you need a balance between working in the office and working from home?
  • Do you want to mentor someone else or have someone mentor you?
Once you have identified your overall career goals, outline your short-term goals and think about how you can motivate yourself to achieve those goals. You may set monthly or even weekly targets for yourself. If motivating yourself is a challenge, consider the following advice from Ayelet Fishbach (Scientific American Mind, 2022).

  • Create specific goals that you can look back on and measure your progress against
  • Make achieving your work goals fun
  • People like to learn, so take on tasks where you feel that you are learning
  • Look back on previous accomplishments to affirm what you have achieved
If you can’t figure out what you want from your career, perhaps that is the time when you may need to consider obtaining some career advice from a professional to guide you towards your best career path.

Just, remember the grass isn’t always greener, so look before you leap into the next career paddock where things might not be as rosy as you think they will be!

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