How do you know when it’s time to make a career change? Are you antsy, bored, overwhelmed, or stagnate? That might indicate it’s time to change. But one of the most important questions is: Have you hit career mastery in your role?
When we start a job, we are launching at the bottom and we are learning fast, trying to take it all in and make sense of the role and the organization. We take on what we can and get some small wins, but progress can seem slow and sometimes is painful.
As we progress, ‘you’re increasingly confident that you can get things done….You’re fully engaged in hypergrowth…This is the sweet spot and it is exhilarating.’ (source: Whitney Johnson, CEO, and Expert on helping high-growth organizations develop high-growth individuals, and author of Disrupt Yourself). Every day provides challenges and fresh perspectives that keep the job interesting and engagement high.
But once we are in a role for some time, we reach career mastery. We know what needs to be done, how to do it and it becomes routine. Work is no longer dynamic as you have learned what you need to learn, your personal growth is slowing down and you’re getting bored. Johnson warns, ‘If you don’t jump, your plateau could become a precipice’. This is when we know it’s time to start something new.
Are you on a Career Plateau?
Are you learning and growing, inspired by the work you are doing? Or are you feeling stagnate and bored? Career growth and success are grounded in taking on new challenges, learning new things, and gaining mastery; then doing it all over again.
Robust, dynamic careers are about constant change and growth. If you aren’t growing in your career right now, ask yourself:
- When was your career was at its best, when you were fully engaged and energized about your work?
- What activities were you engaged with? What initiatives, projects, or problems were you involved with?
- What is missing in your career? Are you needing to be doing more: strategizing and visioning, championing change, driving for results, building cohesive and productive teams, coaching and developing others, leading continuous improvement and innovation, building a client-centric culture, engaging stakeholders, making critical decisions, planning and organizing, or holding fiscal accountability for profit and loss?
Your answers will help you envision the type of work that best meets your needs and holds your interest.
Getting your Career Back on Track
Start by exploring opportunities in your organization to advance to the next level or, maybe a move laterally to start doing more of the work you love. A career conversation with your manager and/or Human Resources can help you discover new options and open doors. Or approach your manager with an idea for a new project that would capture your interest, while bringing innovation and continuous improvement to your organization.
If you are not working and between jobs, you have a fresh slate to target job opportunities best aligned with your talents, experience, and what energizes you. During interviews, probe to determine what results the hiring manager is wanting to achieve. This will help you determine if those outcomes align with what’s most important to you and will hold your interest.
If you’re not in that sweet spot where work is engaging and exciting, you may be at a career mastery plateau. Be bold and start exploring new options to build a rewarding and growing career.
Read more in Planning a Successful Career Shift
Wishing you much career success!
Joanne Loberg Certified Executive Coach & Internationally Certified Career Management Professional
JL Careers Inc