How to tell if you are ready to take the next step in your career
The journey we find ourselves on in our career is determined by many different factors. Some, as recent history shows, are out of our control. But you CAN control plenty. Sometimes we reach a crossroads in life/career when we must make a choice about whether to look elsewhere or upwards in the same company and move to a level where we can realise our full potential. But how do you know you are ready for a step-up? What boxes need ticked for you to make your move?
DON’T LET YOUR SALARY UNDERMINE YOUR VALUE
Here’s the thing. What you are currently paid does not accurately reflect your value and what you bring to the table. What you deserve to earn should be reflective of what you can potentially offer an employer and not what you currently do…although my guess is you deserve a lot more for what you currently do!
You need to value yourself at a much higher level than your currently do. I have seen women take HUGE pay rises by applying for jobs that they thought were above them and you can do this too.
I have a client who has her partner read her job descriptions without the salary. It’s made her realise that she’s more than ready as she’s been working above her current salary for some time.
You just need the belief, vision and the confidence and you really can go for it.
YOU CAN DO YOUR CURRENT JOB “BLINDFOLDED”
How was your last month in work? Any seriously challenging things that took you out of your comfort zone and had you scratching your head when you first took them on? No?
Then it’s definitely time for you to get to the next level. Your potential clearly isn’t being fulfilled and you aren’t being challenged enough! If you find that you work under pressure well, you are confident in your role, and proud of what you do, then you need to start looking upwards.
There is no shame in having mastered your current role. But it is a shame not to progress further because you are happy with an easy life…or scared to push out of that safety zone.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IS LIMITED
If there is nowhere else to go in your current organisation other than sideways then you probably need to look elsewhere. It’s that simple.
Sometimes there can be the potential for movement where you are currently and you just don’t see it. Ask the question of your manager. For instance, “What do I have to do to be considered for a director role?” is a good way to approach this and can be very revealing.
The response can make or break your decision on whether you can stay and progress or take your awesomeness elsewhere to a company that will recognise it.
Similarly, if there is a lack of opportunity for learning diverse skills you may want to consider moving elsewhere. If you can’t spread your wings you’ll never truly fly.
YOUR PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES AND PRIORITIES HAVE CHANGED
This can mean many different things. For instance, you may have been quite content to earn a ‘decent’ wage but now that you have a family your desire to provide has outgrown that ‘decent wage’. Or if you’re single you probably want to have a great household income and not rely on someone else. Financial independence is really important as a woman!
Maybe your current role is no longer providing the satisfaction you need. Or the company you are currently in may be too big or too small for what you want to achieve. Ask yourself what’s important to me for now, and the next 2 years? Can my current organisation deliver what I need?
The answers to those questions will be incredibly helpful!
YOU’VE DONE YOUR TIME
If you’ve been with your current organisation a long time and your peers have moved onwards or upwards, then maybe you need to assess where you are.
How on target are you with your career goals? Can these goals be achieved in where you are or is it time to cut your losses and get out?
It’s important to remember that just because you may not have progressed how you would have like where you are you could well progress quicker at another company…and you could also start at a higher level to begin with.
YOU FEEL RESENTFUL
A sense of fairness is one of the most important indicators of employee happiness. If you feel you have been unfairly overlooked for a promotion it can have a lasting negative impact that can often only be solved by applying for positions of your desired level elsewhere. If that’s what you need to do then do it. There is no time for being sentimental in your career.
You HAVE to look after YOU. If your experience (and qualifications) no longer match the role you are in you need to move upwards, and as soon as you can. Explore how to make it happen where you are with a trusted senior, orif there’s no options, it’s time to look outside.
YOU KNOW THERE ARE BETTER POSITIONS OUT THERE
And they eat away at you. You see them advertised, you see the massive wage increase and prestige attached to them. And you know you are more than capable of doing them. Severe FOMO (Fear of missing out) is a constant nagging in your head for a reason. Because you ARE missing out. And guess who else is missing out? Your future employer.
There is no harm in starting the job search for your dream position. Ask yourself what you need to do to feel confident to go for it (of course there’s the career elevator if you really want to make it happen).
KNOW WHEN YOU ARE HAPPY WITH YOUR CAREER
I’ve touched upon quite a few negatives, so I thought I’d end on a positive. What if you are happy not being challenged in work, you enjoy your job, and feel happy with your wages? What if the company you work for is awesome and your work colleagues are the greatest bunch of people you have ever worked with? Recognising that you are in a great place is every bit as important as knowing that it is time to move to ‘another level’. Do not let the career peer pressure get in the way of realising that happiness is vital.
Being ‘content’ isn’t a crime, it’s a gift.
Originally published at https://genwomen.global on February 9, 2021.