We are going to look some decisions that can help you during today’s practically inevitable job transitions. Here’s how one reader put it:
“I’ve had several jobs in the last few years, and I am tired of job searching. Just about the time I settle in my new position, a layoff occurs. Maybe I am in the wrong field. How can I make better career decisions?”
While the question is about making better career decisions — and it’s a common one — there’s an underlying question, too: How do I avoid getting laid off?
In today’s uncertain and competitive job market, just about everyone will experience an unavoidable job change at some point in their career.
A good way to start thinking about your job is to look at who “owns” your career path — you or your employer?
It can be frustrating and tiring to feel as though your career direction is being determined by your current or most recent employer.
If you want to feel in control of your career, and feel you are making better career decisions you first need to develop goals and take control of your career.
One way to take control is to do more research about a company before accepting a position. Take the time to conduct informational interviews and equip yourself with more knowledge before starting a new job. One of the most important elements in making good career decisions is your ability to fit into the organizational culture. Informational interviews can help answer this key question.
Career transitions will happen so you also need a backup plan. How do you do that? First, stay in contact with others in your field. They may be able to give you leads on open positions or companies in expansion mode.
You also can take classes to increase your marketable skills, adding new ones or keeping those you have updated.
Be an active job seeker all the time by keeping abreast of changes in the marketplace and in your industry or field. While you can’t control the ups and downs of the economy or the job market, you can control what knowledge and skills you want to acquire. The intersection of skills, interest and values points to a career that will bring you satisfaction.
Keep in mind that learning how to make good career decisions is important, but it will not prevent job changes from happening. Job change is part of having a career.
Do you have some personal experience with making good career decisions (or bad ones)?