How Top Performers Make Career Choices

The beginning of the year is the perfect time to reflect on your current position and decide whether you want to make a job change or career transition in 2017.Taking time to truly evaluate your current employment situation and outlining what could potentially enhance your job satisfaction is essential when determining whether you should make a change.

How do the top performers in the industry evaluate making a job change?

Top performers do not focus solely on their paycheck when considering their current position and future options. Money is important, but placing too much emphasis on it can cause one to loose sight of other essential elements that foster job satisfaction and lead to overall success.

For example, you may be satisfied with your paycheck; however, you could be leaving the office every day feeling overwhelmed, underappreciated, unmotivated and/or frustrated.

The truth is that other elements of a job outweigh the paycheck at the end of the day. Of course you want to value yourself appropriately and make sure you can live the lifestyle you choose, but you want to ensure overall job satisfaction when evaluating a change.

Here are five elements, beyond the compensation, you should evaluate when considering a job change:

  • ColleaguesYour teammates should have skills that compliment yours. Strong managers consciously craft their teams by pulling in people who excel in different areas in efforts to build an effective and encompassing team.

  • Pay attention to your colleagues’ talents, notice what sets them apart, and learn from them.Initiate meetings to share ideas and help each other improve. Recognize your colleagues as tools to help you enhance your own skills, and share your expertise in exchange.

  • BossYour employer should invest in supporting your growth as an employee and person. The next time your supervisor sends you to a training, appreciate the fact that they clearly care about you and your future.Always be grateful you have regular access to a leader, role model, and mentor who wants nothing more than for you to succeed in your role – especially on days when they’re not perfect. They’re human too and have a lot on their plate.Proactively schedule a one-on-one meeting with your boss to share your goals for 2017 and discuss new ideas you want to explore.

  • FeedbackThe next time you receive feedback from your manager or colleagues, whether it’s positive or negative, be grateful for it. You can’t grow as a professional if you never receive feedback.Before your annual review, prepare a few questions to open the conversation up for constructive feedback, just in case your boss doesn’t readily share it.Proactively ask your colleagues for critiques as well. It can be general – based on what they see every day – or reflective of a specific project you worked on together.Peer evaluations are incredibly helpful, and a great way to prepare for your year-end review with your manager. Your colleagues may have similar feedback, so you’ll be more prepared to hear it from your boss.

  • Satisfaction

  • Setting annual, monthly, weekly, daily, and even personal goals sets you up for small and big wins, ensuring you feel a sense of accomplishment every day.You don’t want to write “Finish client brief” on your to-do list, but rather, break it down into smaller steps such as:

    • Gather client data from spreadsheet #3

    • Write intro

    • Edit finance graphic

    • Source five images

    Breaking it down gives you a better sense of how long each component takes, and makes you feel as if you actually accomplished something at the end of the day, rather than hoping to finish the entire project in one day and then feeling defeated when you don’t.Hitting your goals is rewarding and motivating. When you achieve small wins, you’re naturally inspired to do more. You build momentum.The pride and confidence that comes from achieving your goals in the workplace affects every other aspect of your life. You’ll be happier at home, feel motivated to exercise and eat healthy, and ultimately have more positive energy.

  • IdentityFor many of us, our career is a significant aspect of our identity. We become known for what we do and our personalities develop based on our work environment.Just as you are a mom, dad, brother, sister, spouse, caretaker, and/or pet owner, you’re also a designer, coder, writer, CEO, or something totally different. Your job becomes an instrumental part of who you are.That said, you want to make sure you are proud of your work and how it affects your identity.Does it feel authentic? You put so much time and energy into your career that you want to ensure it’s true to who you are.

  • Considering these five components, let’s reflect now…

    • Do you feel like you are part of a dynamic team with a diverse skillset? Do your colleagues support your growth, and vice versa?

    • Is your boss supportive, and are you proactive with them?

    • Are you receiving regular feedback, whether positive or constructive?

    • Is effective goal setting part of your routine? Do you feel satisfied and successful, while also challenged?

    • Does your career and the identity you glean from it make you proud?

    If you answered NO to any of these questions, you may want to consider a career shift in 2017, whether it’s internally or you move to a different company.

    Reflect on your 2016 successes and learning experiences, and notice whether your past and current actions are aligned with your ultimate career goal.

    After reading this article, are you considering a career transition? If so, we’d be happy to support you.

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