Bryony Gibson, Managing Director of Bryony Gibson Consulting, talks about New Year's resolutions and how to know when it's the right time to find a new job.
January is the time when, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be making – or perhaps already breaking – a number of New Year’s resolutions.
It’s a tradition dating back thousands of years and whether you’ve decided to start or stop something, the promises you’ve made to yourself will almost certainly be centred on ways to improve your life, health and happiness.
Work satisfaction plays a big part in how we feel about ourselves, so finding a new job is one of the most common resolutions made in the UK; just behind going to the gym, cutting down on alcohol and losing weight.
Working in the recruitment industry you come to expect the start of each year to be very busy. New staffing budgets are released and job seekers join the market in big numbers following Christmas and annual bonus scheme pay-outs and the holiday period giving people time to consider their future.
It’s a hugely competitive month if you’re searching for highly-skilled people, which creates a fantastic opportunity for anyone who is at the top of their game and in need of a new challenge. But the market moves fast, so you need to be certain you’re ready for change when you start looking for a move.
If I could give one piece of advice to anyone looking for a new job, it would be to make sure that money is not your main motivator. If you want to be happier at work, before you begin applying for new jobs you need to work out why you really want to make a change.
Without knowing what is making you unhappy, you run the very real risk of swapping one unrewarding job for another.
From an employer’s point of view a great member of staff is one who’s engaged, ambitious, confident, honest, hard-working, driven, takes responsibility and importantly, fits with the organisational culture.
These are all characteristics that will help you climb the career ladder, so when considering your future, why not start by thinking about whether you meet these traits on a daily basis within your current role; and if the answer is no, maybe it is time to ask yourself a few more searching questions, like:
How did you find your current job, was it by choice or chance?
Do you believe in the organisation’s vision and mission?
Do you think the business is heading in the right direction?
Are your values and beliefs the same as the company’s?
Do you trust and enjoy working with your colleagues?
Are you regularly learning new skills, gaining experience and being challenged?
Do you feel valued or taken for granted?
Are you happy with the amount of money you’re making?
Is there opportunity for career progression in the future?
Do you envy former colleagues who have gone on to do other things?
Do you get enough time to spend with your family and friends?
Is what you’re doing moving you closer to your long-term personal goals?
Do you think you are fulfilling your potential?
It’s important to be honest when answering these questions, but to also remember that work will never be as much fun as spending time with your family and friends, so don’t be too hard on yourself either.
If this kind of process isn’t something you’ve done before, some of your answers could help you to begin thinking in a different way about why you go to work. If you also take some time to rank your personal motivations alongside what it is that you’re passionate about, you should start to really understand what true success looks like for you.