You should be in the job market right now, and it has nothing to do with how happy you are or not in your current job. The world of work has changed dramatically, so we no longer expect to have one job for life. Now, we all have to think about and manage our careers entirely different than the way we used to.
You must see yourself as the boss of your own career. You are the boss, whether you work for someone else or yourself. If you are self-employed, you are an entrepreneur, but if you work for someone else, you are an intrapreneur.
The good news is that there is no more waiting for someone else to decide how your career progresses—no more waiting to be in the job market only when you are unhappy, or when you are forced to job search. You need to see yourself as always being in the job market and open to new opportunities.
This also means that you can no longer think about only getting your next job. Instead, you should have a strategy for always having more choices and more control over your career by creating your own career playbook. By having your playbook of all the ways you can make a successful living using your skills and talents, you are future-proofing yourself in a way that always keeps you in the game, in good times and not so good times.
1. Set goals based on your bigger vision for your life
Here is what happens at the beginning of each year. You look where you are in your career and decide if you like your job. If not, you ask yourself should your job hunt. There’s nothing wrong with this, but the better question you should ask yourself is: Am I making progress on my bigger life vision, and is this job helping me move in that direction? Asking yourself this question means you need to know what is success in the long run to you, and not just for this moment.
2. You are more than your job title
Once you know your big picture, you need to have as many ways as possible to get to your goals so you can always recover from a setback, move on to a better opportunity, or create your opportunity. To do so, you must be able to see yourself as the why behind what you do. Here’s an example of what I mean by that. My first career was as a practising clinical psychologist. But when I changed my awareness of myself from, “I am a psychologist” to my why: “I am a problem solver” that switch opened up ways for me to be a problem solver in different industries and sectors. I discovered more ways to work with people, teams, executives, companies, and organizations—not just ways to be a psychologist.
3. Know your value
The next step in creating your playbook is that you need to know your unique advantage. How do you stand apart from everyone else? Ask yourself two questions to figure this out. Ask yourself what are your unique gifts and talents that set you apart from everyone else. Once you know that, turn the mirror the other way and ask yourself what value do you add? What problems do you solve where you work, or for your clients if you work for yourself? You have to know your value—always.
4. More ways to make the plays
When we go to school, we are usually taught one way to work—for someone else, but you should also consider ways to be self-employed, such as having a side gig. By now, we’ve all learned about the power of diversifying our financial investment portfolio. The same rule applies to your career. The investment in yourself is that you should always have at least five ways that you can make a play that would be in keeping with your bigger view of success in your career.
5. Grow your network.
You can’t do it alone, so you must always invest in growing your network just like you are continually growing your skills. Make sure that you are investing in relationships inside and outside of your company. Some of the essential professional connections you will need throughout your career will be with people who are not your colleagues. They are invaluable, particularly when you are considering your next move, so you should continue to invest in those relationships.
Even if you don’t leave your current job, your playbook can help you decide if there are critical experiences in your company that would be helpful for you to have, so that you are always making the career progress you want.
Originally posted by Natalia Peart
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