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Are you at a ‘crossroads’ in your career and feel ‘stuck’?

Making a change is hard! And it's even harder when you don't have a clear direction in mind. So, what happens when you can't work it out and you 'get stuck'?

Sometimes, we fall into a mindset of "it's not too bad here and maybe the next employer won't be any better, so I'll just persevere a bit longer, maybe it'll change for the better"! If this describes how you feel, it's one of the best ways of preventing you from moving to a more satisfying and meaningful career, and you will indeed 'be stuck'!

And, without adequate research, making a move to a different business in a similar role will often result in repeating the same mistake over again! I know, I've been there! I've moved a few times thinking each time that it will be different, and after a few short months, I realised it wasn't!

So, what to do instead:

  • Start with some self-reflections! What motivates you most strongly, what skills do you enjoy using (not just the ones you're good at) and what have you achieved in your various roles? This provides valuable insights into what you would like to do more of and less of! Sometimes, beginning with what you're sure you don't want is a good starting point.

  • This broadly and reflect on what's important to you, such as realistic working hours, working in a hybrid way, working in a company whose values are aligned with yours, working in a hierarchical structure, or working in a dynamic workplace where constant change is the norm, and so on.

  • Brainstorm some career options you've considered even if only briefly! You can use sticky notes and paste them onto a whiteboard, or paste onto large flipchart size paper, or you can create a mindmap. This activity can free up your mind and help you think more creatively! Don't be constrained by practical ideas - it's important to think freely. Keep your ideas somewhere where you can see them every day!

  • If you like working for the company you're working with right now, what can you do to make changes in your role? How will you negotiate to make the change? What is your 'business case'?

  • Then, look more closely at each of them and prioritise them in order of interest and start your research! Reach out to your network and engage with your contacts or re-engage with those with whom you've not spoken for a long time and have lost touch! Research tells us that opportunities often come from those contacts with whom you've not been in regular touch because they move in different circles.

  • Talk to them to gain valuable insights into areas you would like to know more about - think of it in terms of an 'information interview'!

  • And, change your mindset if you're thinking that you're asking for favours! Most people enjoy providing advice or guidance or information to those genuinely seeking it!

  • Look at job ads for the roles you have identified as being of interest, and do a gap analysis. Are there any that you can fill quickly by attending a training course? As you able to limit the gap in an interview? Can you talk about your learning mindset and demonstrate it? Can you highlight your transferable skills and provide examples of how you've used them?

  • Can you explain how adaptable you are at work with tangible examples?

  • Do you have a 30 - 60 second 'pitch' that describes your value proposition? One that you can use when talking to people who don't know you or don't know you well enough?

  • Don't overlook the power of LinkedIn and make sure you have an up-to-date, professional Profile that highlights your experience/expertise/skills/personal strengths and qualities, and that your headshot is not one taken on a beach, or wearing sunglasses!

  • Consider creating a Personal SWOT analysis to help you define your Strengths, Weaknesses (or gaps), the Opportunities that exist for you to make a change, and the Threats (ie competition) that might prevent you from doing so!

Making a change in your career requires deep thinking, reflecting on what's important to you and then sourcing people who can provide you with the insights needed. The benefit is twofold - you will gain greater clarity and in the process, you will become known to more people leading to more opportunities.

I've helped many people progress to where they want to be, and if you're ready to make a change I'd love to do the same for you!

Heidi Winney

0414 438 577

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