You need to ask yourself some questions regarding your direction in 2008.
1. The Status-Quo
If you do not change what you are doing, or increase your level of investment in your career through education, training, and up-skilling, then how can you expect to be in a different position, whether in employment or financially, this time next year? You can be sure that if you are not growing, but your employer is, then you will be left behind.
In all honesty, for most of us, the status-quo is not an option.
2. Career Development
For most of us, career-development remains a strong focus. It may take many forms within the company.
You may accept new responsibilities, up-skilling, training, and staff/team leadership. You need to make sure that if you take on added responsibilities, you are given the training and resources to do the job. The boss often forgets that while you may have been highly successful in one role, it takes time and experience to excel in your new role. Keep the lines of communication open during these times of growth.
3. A Promotion Within the Company
There is a real danger in accepting a promotion within the company, to a role that you already have the knowledge and skill-base for. We suggest you consider putting in place an agreed career-growth plan as you accept the new role.
4. Changing Jobs
Rather than addressing the frustration in an existing role, it is tempting to accept a new job elsewhere. This is a reality for most of us – and it is a step we sometimes need to make so that we don’t stagnate or lose our career-direction.
Within companies, the true value of employees is not often realised. But in going to the market, you can gain a more accurate idea of your worth, based on the assessments of prospective employers in terms of your experience and knowledge.
5. Lifestyle Changes
Throughout 2007, the buzz-word in employment has been ‘work/life balance’. A developing concept in 2007, this will now become the norm in 2008. Employers are now more accepting and open-minded, however the arrangement needs to work well for both parties.
Be prepared to compromise. Work with your employer to set in place a plan and timeline to move towards the work/life balance you are seeking. And once you have that balance, be aware that it will need to change as your lifestyle evolves over time.
Retirement does not need to mean you take your gold watch and disappear off into the sunset. Both you and the company can benefit from a continuing arrangement, in which you may undertake some consulting work, or a less-stressful and time-consuming role where your knowledge and experience is made available to the company. All of us can continue to make a worthwhile contribution – the important thing is to structure the new working relationship so that it works for both parties and all stakeholders can appreciate its benefits.