Every year, you should do a career audit. Not with the mind-set of ‘finding a new job’, but in terms of evaluating where you are in your career against your own personal objectives. Not only is this an important part of ensuring the conversations you have with your boss in annual reviews are well thought through, it’s also critical to guard against those ruts we all find ourselves in from time to time.
Here are some key red flags to watch out for as you do this…
Don’t get us wrong, you should enjoy your job and feel like you’re working in a supportive environment. But a level of stress and pressure is important to ensure you’re working at your very best. Without it, most of us stagnate, or naturally stop pushing for more. If you feel you can do over 90% of your job with no challenge of difficulty, or feeling that you’re out of your comfort zone, it’s time to look either internally or externally for something else.
Resisting Innovations and Change
Likewise, when you’re out of your comfort zone, often you have to embrace new ways of doing things to ensure you deliver. If you find yourself blocking innovations and change, it may be another sign of getting too comfortable. It may also be a sign of becoming disengaged with your role – which doesn’t necessarily mean you need to leave, it might just require a bit of a re-group in order to reconnect with your role’s core purpose and mission.
Believing it’s Not Possible
In a similar fashion, a motivated and fulfilled ‘you’ should never stop questioning. If you find yourself becoming stuck in your ways or inward-looking, it’s definitely time for a shake-up. And beware – in a profession where expertise can be provided on the side of risk-aversion this can happen quite often, so keeping yourself open to new ideas, people and thinking is incredibly important if you want to continue to advance your career.
Putting your Books Away
We’re not saying you need to always have a piece of study on the go. To do so is unrealistic, and probably won’t ever pay its return. However, don’t just assume CPD is your form of ongoing learning post-qualification. You need to consider what education you need to do now to position you at the next level. If you want to become a CFO, you may want to look into further qualifications in risk or governance. If you want to move into a more specialist role, perhaps in performance or data analytics, further study will place you ahead of your peers. Likewise if business management is your goal, considering an MBA is vital.
By asking yourself these questions, you’ll ensure that you are continuing to make forward progression.
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