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January is often a time when you re-evaluate what you want out of the coming year: whether you are happy and achieving in your current job, and whether your career trajectory is moving in the right direction might be one of those questions.

In November 2016, a Global Leadership study conducted by Dale Carnegie, polling 3,300 workers in 13 countries, showed that 45% of employees are planning to leave their current organisation in 2017. Shockingly, only 22% plan to stay in the current company on a long-term basis. But, is leaving always the right option? Can you get the career you want in your current company?

Is moving really the right option?

We are big advocates of considering whether a move really is the right decision or whether you can make changes in your current role that will give you what you’re looking for.

Here are our top 6 considerations before dusting off your CV:

1.      Are you happy?

We’re huge advocates of people being happy in their jobs. We know you can’t be happy 100% of the time but if you are:

  • Feeling challenged
  • Excited about what you do
  • Recognised and appreciated for the work you do
  • Learning
  • Achieving and being encouraged to improve
  • Satisfied with the direction of the company most of the time
  • Have autonomy over the work you do

…and your team and company value your contribution, admit when they’re wrong and have similar values to you, then we’d say you’re probably right where you need to be.

However, if you’re not feeling that way, is it really bad enough for you to change jobs?

Ask yourself whether you can make small changes in your role that will help to tick some of these boxes. Are there activities that you love to do or skills that you have that you are not currently using in your job? For instance, do you love training people but this isn’t a part of your current role? Can you do something about this? If you’re not feeling challenged, are there other things that you could be taking on that aren’t technically part of your job description? If you’re feeling suffocated by your line manager, can you ask for a little autonomy to manage a specific task end-to-end and see how you go?

2.      Do you have a good balance between work and home life?

The boundaries between work and home life are becoming increasingly blurred in an age where we are constantly available and always online, but is your current company supportive of the balance that you need to ensure you’re physical and mental wellbeing?

It’s inevitable that you will sometimes experience periods of intense work and stress, but if you’re constantly feeling overworked and not being give the time to switch off and recharge your batteries then you’re not giving your best and, as a consequence, your company aren’t getting the best out of you.

Ask yourself whether you’ve had the right conversations with the appropriate people to make sure you have the support you need. Your current company can only do something about it if they’re aware of the impact of your job and how it is affecting you. Give them a chance to support you.

3.      Have you developed?

If your personal and professional development is something that is important to you, it’s worth considering the following:

  • How you have developed yourself in the last year? Was there more you could have done?
  • Could you have made more space in your day job to develop yourself?
  • Have you had the support from your business to use the tools available to you to develop – whether that is classroom based learning, online learning, bitesize learning, on-the-job learning, peer-to-peer learning, self-study, coaching etc.?
  • Have you considered how the future is going to affect your role? What impact will technology, automation or artificial intelligence have in your area of expertise? Think about how that might impact the work you due and make sure you focus your efforts on developing skills that will remain in demand

If you don’t feel like your current company is offering enough to advance you in your career, why not go out and find relevant learning opportunities that will enhance you and the impact of the work you do on your company. Then see if your company is willing to invest in you (although do be realistic about the level of investment they are able to make!)

Ensure you’re being invested in and driving your own development.

4.      Is your career moving in the right direction?

Growth in your career leads to a real sense of achievement and satisfaction, so if career growth is important to you, ask yourself the following when considering your current position and company:

  • Have you been promoted this year or are you being developed for a promotion?
  • Have you been given additional responsibilities since starting in your role?
  • Can you see what the future holds for your company and can you see your place in that future? Can you see how your role supports the wider business strategy?
  • Do you know what your aim is for your career?

You don’t need to have a five-year plan, but some idea of where you’re heading, what you enjoy and where you want to be will help you understand what you need in order to help you get there.

If you can’t yet answer these questions with a yes, consider what it is you want out of your career and make sure you have the right conversations with the right people within your business to enable you to meet your goals. Most importantly, don’t just sit back and expect it to happen. Being proactive will play a big part in helping you to achieve your objective.

5.      Are you aligned with the Company’s vision and strategy

When your internal values and belief system contradicts those of your current company, this can be detrimental. If your values are misaligned, your business cannot expect you to perform at your best, and if you don’t know what you’re working towards, it’s very difficult to feel engaged. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does your company have a clear vision? Are they able to translate that into clear and actionable strategic goals?
  • Are people your company’s best asset? If they don’t value you, how can they expect you to perform at your best?
  • Are the values of the company and your direct managers and colleagues in line with yours?
  • Do you feel comfortable with the way they manage their business, their people and their customers?
  • Do you have good leaders at the top of your business? People you respect, aspire to and are inspired by?

Do they provide you with a positive working environment with structure but not too much hierarchy or do they accept poor behaviour and bad attitudes?

If the answer to many of these questions is yes, then it sounds like you’re working in a great business and we’d encourage you to do all you can to improve other elements of your role to satisfy your needs. If you’re answering no, then it may be time to consider what changes you need to make to move forward.

6.      Is money your driving force?

Unless you’re purely money motivated, the majority of us look for a real mixture of things in our career to ensure we’re happy and moving forward. Money doesn’t tend to be the sole motivator. So, as long as you perceive that you are being paid fairly for what you do and you are being offered something that is competitive within the sector in which you work (be sure not to benchmark against other sectors – it’s not comparable) then our advice would be, don’t just move for money. You may find you’ve made a big mistake.

So, what next?

In summary, we feel it’s really important to explore all options in your current role before making a jump to something new. You’ll need to do a little bit of work to understand your motivators and what truly excites and interests you. However, if you make the time to understand what’s important to you, by making small changes it can have a huge impact on your health, happiness and sense of achievement in your current role. All without having to start from scratch in a new company and a new role.

Whether you’re part of The Class of not, and want any help in deciding what comes next, do reach out to us – we’d be more than happy to help.