Why slowing down will propel your career forwards.
It’s approaching mid-January. With January comes the all-too-well familiar “new year, new me” rhetoric being pushed by media outlets and brands alike. Indeed, the career development space isn’t immune to the messaging. This author must even admit to a marketing campaign in late 2021 declaring: “Make 2022 count. Discover a new career direction“. We’re being bombarded with articles claiming that 2022 is THE year to change our career. That job openings are at an all-time high, giving advantage to job seekers. And that we should change/update our CV as the priority task RIGHT NOW to make sure we don’t miss out on exciting new jobs. It’s easy to think that the grass is greener elsewhere.
The trouble with all of this noise is that it encourages us to move quickly. Probably too quickly. It can be really tempting for us, especially if we’ve been feeling low, disillusioned or fed up with our current role and career, to take the media as a cue to hop on to some job sites and start applying with haste for anything and everything – usually similar roles in similar functions, possibly in similar industries, maybe for a slight promotion or pay rise.
The danger is that we’re jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire without realising it. Slow down.
Yes, updating the CV, interviewing and getting a new role is exciting (if not a little daunting). There can be no doubt that landing that new role will bring some short-term excitement and our neurons will be firing for a few months as we learn all about our new role and company – the culture, the norms, the policies, the ways of working.
In the medium to longer term it will lead to prolonged career misery. Once the initial “honeymoon period” is over, we will find ourselves again feeling unfulfilled and lacking career clarity. It’s a viscous circle.
It doesn’t need to be this way. What if, instead of applying for jobs left, right and centre so as to not “lose” to another candidate, we instead SLOW DOWN. Possibly we might even STOP. We breathe.
What results might we get if we invested time and energy into getting to know ourselves better and making a plan, before taking any action: who are we, personally and professionally? what career do we actually want? what is my uniqueness in the world? what am I capable of already and what could my potential look like? This is exactly how my clients and I work together. It all starts with defining who we are and what we want.
So…slow down. Stop, even.
Begin the self-awareness work with a deep dive into your values. Don’t know how to do that? I’ll be covering that in my next article.
p.s. if you’ve enjoyed reading this, then here’s a really cool article from Harvard Business Review.