When it comes to finding a fulfilling long-term career, it’s not always easy to make the right choice first time round. We’ve pulled together our tips to help you work out when it’s time to re-evaluate your chosen path and how to go about changing it.
Do you love what you do?
Some people think it’s unrealistic to love your job, but we don’t agree. Think about what you did last month, last week…yesterday and then think about what you’ll be doing tomorrow. If you can’t say honestly that you enjoy what you’re doing, then it may be time for a change.
What are your goals?
Some of us are happy enough to put the hours in, do good work and then go home to our friends and family. If that’s how you feel, and you’re happy to feel that way, then that’s fine. But if you want more from your job and your work life, if you want to push yourself and find that you’re becoming frustrated in your current position, it may be time to push on and find what you really want to do, rather than settling for second best.
Consider the 18 month rule
There’s an unwritten rule that says you should re-evaluate what you’re doing at least every 18 months, because that’s how long it takes most people to master a new job, responsibilities and start to seek out new challenges and opportunities. Sometimes you’ll be able to find these in the job you’re already doing but if you can’t it may be time for a re-think.
Is the grass really greener?
We’ve all looked at someone else’s car or apartment or career and thought ‘that looks amazing, I wish my car/apartment/career was like that’. Rather than jumping into something completely new feet first, take a little time to talk to friends and colleagues and find out a bit more about what goes on behind the scenes. That car may carry crippling insurance costs, that apartment may cost more than you think and that career may not be what you thought it was at all…
Talk to your manager or mentor. These are the people best placed to offer the best advice because they know the work inside out – and many of them will have been in the same position you are in now. Think about what’s making you re-consider your current role and then try and articulate it. Make a list of pros and cons and then talk it through with them. Sometimes taking a step back from your situation to assess it objectively – with the help of another more experienced colleague – can help you see things in a new light.
Go For It
Finally, whatever you decide to do – press on in your current role or apply for something completely different, perhaps via our various internship opportunities – be decisive. If you feel you’ve given something a real go and it hasn’t worked out, you’ll find that there are plenty of other career avenues for you to explore.