If you’re feeling like you could be doing more with your career, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Many people have this nagging sensation in the backs of their heads, and it can be hard to get out, even if you’re normally confident about your success and see plenty of reasons to be. The truth is that many of us simply have a built-in instinct to always strive for more, and even when you’re doing your best to satisfy that craving, you still want more.
The solution is often to take a step back and take a more objective look at your life. You must evaluate whether you’re actually unhappy with your career, or if that’s just a senseless gut feeling that you should kick. And if you really are looking for a change, you need to make a detailed plan about how you’re going to achieve it.
Don’t Get Complacent
One of the worst things that you can do to yourself with regards to your work is to become complacent. This often happens to people who compare themselves with others too much. Eventually, you’re going to start focusing on the ones that are specifically better than you, and it’s a downward spiral from there on. You come to terms with the fact that you’re not the best at what you do and never will be, and you stop putting effort into trying to improve yourself.
That’s why you so often hear the advice to focus on yourself and not on others. You should also keep in mind that what you’re seeing in others in terms of performance is a carefully curated view that they maintain with a lot of effort. You don’t know the true story.
Know Your Value
Keeping track of your progress through your job is a great way to keep your mind on your own value, and remind yourself of it on a regular basis. This is a problem for some people who often fall into the trap of believing that they are not worth much in their careers. But a quick look at the full list of what you’ve accomplished can completely erase any doubts about that, and can help you remember why you’re doing your job in the first place.
This can be very useful if you decide to negotiate for a raise, or even start looking for another job (more on that below). In these cases, your own value is the only leverage you have, and you need to have a perfect understanding of it if you want to make a good impression and make people realize that you deserve more.
Voice Your Concerns
If you see something wrong with your job, don’t be afraid to speak out. That’s the only way you’re going to see any change in the first place. Your boss might be well-intended, but they may not have a good overview of your current situation, especially in a larger organization with multiple departments. It’s up to you to take the initiative and ensure that you’re noticed.
But make sure that you do it in a diplomatic manner. You don’t want to burn any bridges unnecessarily, especially when it comes to something like your career. You never know – maybe your boss has been thinking the same things, but hasn’t gotten around to talking to you about that yet.
Changing Jobs vs Asking for a Promotion
Various studies indicate that if you want to see the best financial progress in many fields, the most optimal choice is to keep switching jobs on a regular basis. Usually, the ideal period is specified as around 2-3 years, but it can vary from one industry to another. The point is, you’ll often face a much better offer by changing from one company to another, compared to what your current employer might be willing to propose in terms of a salary raise.
If you do decide to switch jobs though, don’t do it without planning ahead. Take out a loan from a reputable firm like Omacl.co.uk if you don’t have enough savings lined up for the next few months – and make sure that your new career prospects are good enough to allow you to repay it on time. You obviously don’t want to find yourself in a worse position as a result of your attempt to improve your situation, but that’s unfortunately exactly what happens to some people as a result of their lack of planning.
And on that note, be prepared for the possibility that your current company might counter your new employer’s offer with something even better. If that does happen, get it in writing before deciding to turn down the other offer for good. You never know what might be going on in the company’s HR/payroll departments, and in some cases, a move like this is just an attempt by the company to put you in a worse position without you realizing. But as long as you have your bases covered and are confident in what you have lined up, go ahead and pull the trigger – you’ll most likely not regret it.