With the start of the New Year you might be thinking about a fresh start and a new job, especially if you had to work over the Christmas holidays or if you're a victim of the credit crunch.
Always remember - procrastinators dream about what they would like to do but never actually do anything about it. As W.L. Bateman said ‘If you keep on doing what you have always done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always got.’
If you are serious about achieving your ambitions you need to set yourself targets and start on them straight away.
Make a list of what you want to achieve in your working life i.e:
• Improve your performance
• Promotion within the next six months
• More family friendly hours
• Part time work
• More money
Make a list of immediate challenges / blocks which could stand in your way and look at ways you can overcome them. What development skills, training, qualifications, experience or further information do you require? For example you might not be very confident when dealing with colleagues, allowing yourself to be easily undermined, so you could look at ways of improving your communication skills. Send off for the job description and application form if you see an advert for a vacancy that matches the description for your ideal job. Fill it in and see where the gaps are and start looking for ways of filling them in.
If you have all the necessary qualifications already – what are you waiting for? – Get it in the post! The more information that you have on the job you have in mind, the more able you are to make informed decisions about it.
Once you have worked out what goals you need to achieve you need to set a time frame for achieving them. Don’t leave it open ended or the goals will remain out of reach. Decide when you want to achieve your goal by and then break it down into smaller sections of things that you need to do to achieve it. Then try and do something positive, ideally every day, that takes you closer to your target. Reflect back at the end of each day and write down something new that you have achieved that day. Keep a diary so that you can see yourself getting closer and closer to your goal.
What can you do now to help you achieve your goal?
• Look at ways of gaining more experience in other areas
• Start doing occasional bank shifts in your chosen area on days off / in holidays
• Apply for a secondment to study full time or to work in another area
• Attend relevant courses / study days
You may have an idealistic view of the job you fancy doing. To get a clearer idea ask someone who is already doing the same or a similar job if you can shadow him/her for a day. As well as being able to give useful advice they may also have inside information on any jobs that are going to be available. Also you will have demonstrated you interest and enthusiasm to the people you may be working with in the future.
Ask for support. Seek other people’s views about your strengths and weaknesses but choose people who will encourage you to reach your goals. Avoid negative people who will hold you back simply because they haven’t got the guts to do it themselves.
If you ask your boss for a transfer or secondment to another area - the worst thing he/she can say is no. Accept change and help others through it – experience of change will look good on your CV.
Many people fear failure, but many also fear success - they are frightened that they are not good enough and are afraid that one day they will be found out and exposed as a fraud. Even the most successful people feel fear sometimes – they just don’t let it hold them back. Is fear dominating your life, stopping you doing things you really want to do, preventing you getting that promotion or applying for a new position?
Most people say that they need to increase their confidence before they can hope to find another job but it actually works the other way around. Confidence comes from competence – if you are able to do something well, you’re confident about it. To do something well you’ve got to practice and that’s how you’ll build confidence.
Change of any kind is a risk and feels uncomfortable – even when the change is for the good. We leave behind the old familiar ways and step onto new ground. But life rewards action, not intentions. Nothing in your
life will change until you start doing different things. You will meet new people and new possibilities will become available to you. So get support and get the training you need but above all go for it.