Have you been dragging your feet to work lately? Do you spend your Sunday weekends dreading for Monday to come? Do you feel unhappy or underappreciated in your job? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be on your way to considering making a career change. Before that happens, however, you must be able to assess yourself. In these hard times, where jobs are quite hard to find since no company is aggressively hiring, you still have to consider the impact it would make on you and your family if you decided to leave your current job.
Before making a career change, try to evaluate the factors that are not making you happy in your job. Is it management? Is it the pay that you are receiving? Or is it the work you are doing?
- In a very flat organization, for example, chances of promotion are quite slim. Although this equates to a more productive set-up for your team, gunning for a promotion in this kind of environment will be difficult. If you are starting to get bored with your work, you may want to consider asking your boss for a lateral move within the team. Sometimes, changing your tasks will break you out of your normal routine. Doing something different or more interesting will have a profound effect on your job motivation.
- If you feel underappreciated for your efforts in the office, speak to your manager about it. Be open and honest; tell him exactly what it is that is bothering you. Begin by asking your boss for a feedback session between the two of you. Ask him how he finds your job performance, work attitude and other factors. A fair, honest evaluation from your boss can help clear up a lot of things and get you closer to the reasons for your dilemma. Take the feedback in stride, as constructive criticism. Use the points he raises as action items you can do in order to improve your performance and improve your career.
- If you feel that your team seems to be suffering from low morale, ask your boss for permission to work on employee recognition programs. These events do not have to be formal - these are used as avenues so that people in the office who do good jobs are recognized accordingly. A pat on the back goes a long way, especially in the office. If money is the reason why you are unhappy with your job, ask your boss for a raise. Be prepared to give him reasons to justify why you would like a raise in pay - cite achievements, past performance ratings and your plans for future improvement.
- Your manager himself may be the reason for your problem. Often, people are unhappy with their bosses because they feel that there is a lack of direction or leadership from the manager. A manager who often delegates work can be seen as one who isn't really looking out for you and developing your skills - he's just passing the work down the line. If this is the case for you, make sure you have a conversation with your boss. He may not be aware of the destructive effects of his current management style.
Understand that the main way to improve your career position is to be better at your job than the next guy.