Leap Day Tips for Leaping Up or Leaping Out of Your Job Rut

Recently, I have had several conversations with friends and peers about being unhappy in their job and wanting more or something different.  And many times we just don’t know how to go after the something more or different.  So here are my tips for getting out of your work rut or taking advantage of where you are right now.

  1. Do you have all the skills the job you want requires? I am not asking if you can do the job. I am asking can you check off all the applicant requirements as well as the desired qualifications of the job description?
    1. There is a job that gets posted periodically with a really great company that I would like to be a part of, but it has a desired list of certifications that I only have one of. So, I have started tackling them. I am currently working on the most expensive one and it is what I asked Mr. Style to pay for as my Valentine and Birthday gift instead of flowers and new shoes.  Even if this job doesn’t come available, again, I am positioning myself for a similar job with a similar company.  Your current job may even reimburse you for this certification.
    2. Maybe the experience is more project management and this is a great opportunity to ask your current supervisor to give you a project. Tell them, you are ready to tackle a new responsibility.  This is a chance for you to either demonstrate your ability to move up in your current organization or it is a great resume builder.
  2. Did you apply? You would think I wouldn’t have to ask this, but I have had several people tell me that they didn’t understand how someone else got a job that they didn’t even apply for.  A similar scenario is someone being promoted when your boss doesn’t know that is what you want.
    1. If you want to move up in your company, you have to tell your supervisor and make sure if you work with other departments that the leadership there knows you want to do more. If your supervisor doesn’t do this as part of your review, set up a meeting and talk about your career path.  You might be surprised to find that they really want to help you.  Be prepared for constructive feedback, they might give you suggestions of areas to work on as well as suggest training that might benefit you.  If that doesn’t work, set up a meeting with HR and let them know of your desire to move up.
  3. Are you networking? As an introvert, this is where I fall short.  And the internet with sites like LinkedIn, lulls us into this false security with “social networking”, but it isn’t enough. Nothing compares to face-to-face networking.  If you really want to change companies or move up in your company, you need to make time to get to know others.  Toastmasters is a great place to build up your communication skills and meet new people in other industries.
    1. Pay It Forward: A friend of mine recently stepped into a new role and was looking for advice from someone with a similar role. I connected her with a peer via e-mail, and now they do coffee regularly.  Both people have returned the favor.  I also host dinners once a quarter for like-minded women.  The group started out as 4 and now we have about 20 people.  5 of whom, have changed companies as a result of our networking dinners.
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