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Spring -- A Time for New Career Beginnings!

Spring is a time for renewal and rebirth, and the signs of change are all around us. Flowers are blooming, and the days are longer, brighter, and warmer. We become more open to inviting changes into our lives.

Spring, a season of transformations, may be the time to dare yourself to make desired changes in your career. To clarify your feelings about your job, take this quiz!

Are you satisfied with your job?

Respond "yes" or "no:"

  1. I often have trouble getting out of bed workdays.
  2. I frequently think, “I can hardly wait till Friday!”
  3. I have control over my job tasks.
  4. I call in sick when I am not.
  5. My performance and productivity have slipped.
  6. I like my colleagues and superiors.
  7. Leaving the organization will enable me to achieve desired goals.
  8. My work is damaging my self-confidence and health.
  9. My job enables me to express my purpose.

Scoring: One point for each "yes" to statements 3, 7, and 10; and "no" to the other statements. Add points: 8 or higher suggests you're satisfied with your job; 4 to 7 suggests you like some aspects of your job, but dislike others; 3 or lower indicates you're dissatisfied with your work. This may influence your health and productivity. To nurture your career, consider tips below.

New career beginnings

- Manage your own career.  Identify what you like and dislike about your job.

- Explore ways to creatively redesign your job. Trade responsibilities with colleagues. Propose suggestions to superiors. Mentor. This will enrich work experiences. Accept challenges in unexplored territories. Focus on experimenting with something new, rather than previously mastered tasks.

- Investigate jobs within your company. Is there another position in the company that could satisfy your needs? Don’t discount downward, lateral or regional moves. Anticipate company changes. Network, read memos, newsletters and job postings.

Advise key people in appropriate departments of your interest in a position. Show how your skills and accomplishments can contribute to the department’s bottom line.

- Create opportunities in your organization. Look for jobs that need to be done, research ways to enhance the project, and offer assistance and suggestions to the project manager.  Volunteer for special projects. Identify those that offer challenge and meet other needs. Offer to take charge of a newsletter or community relations project.

Be assertive. Make your needs and desires clear in a friendly way. Ask, rather than complain. Prepare and rehearse the script before the big request. To manage anxiety, practice a calming guided visualization or meditation.

Continue to learn. Read professional journals, attend professional meetings. Share expertise. Create a demand for it.

- Explore options outside the organization.  You have many other alternatives including another organization or different field, self-employment or time out for travel or study. Peruse printed materials and the Internet. Read professional literature and attend professional and business association meetings, shadow professionals at work, volunteer, work part-time or take courses in a field of interest.

When evaluating options, determine compatibility with needs, interests, skills and goals. Know how to get started, and how to minimize potential difficulties.

- Clarify goal. To clarify your goal, use both intellect and intuition. For an objective assessment, list options (teacher, engineer, book keeper) across the top of a page. On the side, write important criteria such as needs (creativity, autonomy, security). Give each option a rating of +1, 0 or -1, for each criterion. Add your scores. For further clarification, use intuition. For example, ask your dreams for guidance, meditate, enjoy nature, journal.

 -  Plan and act. When you know what you want, it's easier to focus on finding a new position, return to school or take time out. Develop an action plan, and break it down into small steps indicating completion dates, activities and resources required.  Expect success, and continually visualize yourself performing your goal.

-  Enhance lifestyle. Sometimes, other life components depress us. Poor health and lack of leisure or an intimate relationship may contribute to feelings of boredom and low confidence. Identify sources of discontent. Find hobbies, volunteer, study or other activities that provide needed perks.

Get out of that rut! How can you improve your work situation?

For additional information and inspiration refer to Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life 

© Dr. Carole Kanchier, registered psychologist, coach and author of the award winning, groundbreaking book, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life, helps individuals and organizations dare to change. www.questersdaretochange