When you spend about 9,000 hours per year at work, it makes sense that you want a job that you love and that fulfills you and makes you happy. For many people, life gets in the way or circumstances interfere and they find themself in a job that they aren’t passionate about. If that sounds like you, and you’re tired of a job that doesn’t pay enough, isn’t going anywhere and where your skills aren’t allowed to be used, your career can be less than encouraging.
According to the O.C. Tanner Learning Group, an incredible 79 percent of people admit to quitting their job because they don’t feel appreciated. Another study done by the Gallup organization reports that 70 percent of employees are actively disengaged at work. On the other hand, very few, only about 12 percent of people actually quit their job because they want more money.
No matter where you are in your career, whether it’s in a dead-end job you hate, the desire to start your own business, or to simply do what you love, there are several steps you should be taking besides polishing up your resume and cover letter.
Visit Your Human Resources Department
Never made the trek to the HR department? Now is the time. You’ll find a treasure trove of helpful information there, from benefits you can take advantage of to tuition reimbursement programs for furthering your career. You can also find out about classes and training you can take and help with your resume. Even if you plan to leave the company eventually, you should be taking advantage of what it has to offer while you’re still there.
Take a Class
Staying educated in your industry or learning something new is an easy step you can take to get you where you want to be in your career. Many local community colleges offer free and paid courses, and you can also find them online. Increasing what you know and building your skills makes you a more marketable employee and helps you create a noticeable resume. It’s impressive to hiring committees when they see people who want to learn and develop their skills so this will help you stand out in a good way during your job search.
Make a Plan
A five-year plan helps you outline your goals and break them down so that you can work daily on getting to your ultimate goals. Start by writing down each of your goals, then brainstorm some things you can do right now to reach them. Then decide what you’re going to do in the next year. At the end of that year, create a plan for the next year. Reward your milestones along the way and check in with yourself regularly to stay on track.
Ask for an Evaluation
Having your boss evaluate your current work and tell you what he sees or doesn’t see can be scary, but it’s a great way to see where you’re at. You’ll have some insight into your strengths and can see where you might have some weaknesses that you can work on.
Look for a Challenge
Whether it’s at your current job, it’s a volunteer position or it’s something you just want to try, meeting a challenge head-on can open up opportunities that you otherwise would have missed. You can show your superiors what you can do, while also adding to your current skill set. At the same time, you’ll improve your knowledge and might find something new to be passionate about along the way.
Network in Your Chosen Industry
Whether you’re already in the industry you’re passionate about or you’re still trying to get into it, networking is a powerful way to meet people and get your foot in the door. Create a strong and professional social media presence, take part in forums or conferences, and seek out strong contacts within your industry. To be successful with this, make sure you keep your personal social media profiles private and make your professional ones something that will impress others in the field.
This sounds pretty broad, but what works for someone else might not work for you and vice versa. Create a routine that works for you, which means figuring out what distracts you and finding ways to limit those distractions. Reorganizing your workspace can also boost efficiency and productivity. Organize and clean up your workspace so it flows and so that you know where everything is. Even if you’re still breaking into your industry and aren’t getting paid for it yet, treat it like your job so you stay efficient and on top of things.
No matter what else you do, it’s also imperative to know your own worth. Once you have that figured out, you won’t settle for less than your dream job. So get out there and hustle. In a few years, you’ll be right where you want to be and living the life you’ve wanted for so long.