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Need a change in your career? Six things to do before you tell your boss

Career performance coach Jane Downes has some strategies to help you move your career forward in 2018.

ARE YOU FEELING horribly stuck in your career? Do you feel like your career has stagnated? Are you tempted to have a showdown with your boss? HOLD FIRE! Here are some strategies to get past this and move your career forward in 2018 in this new economy of change.

Know what you want from your career. Avoid limiting yourself with conversations of doom and gloom the career landscape is in a really good place. Identify industries and organisations in growth phase and be resourceful and career resilient.

Consider your unique work motivators – it is essential to know your motivation for going to work i.e. why you want to work and your conscious and unconscious work drivers which would make work fulfilling for you and not just about the pay cheque at the end of the month? Remind yourself of this to keep you focused.

Understand the power of career choice – choosing a career is one of the most important decisions most of us will make. Our career choices are statements about who we think we are and what we are capable of achieving. Realise that you do have options but you need to spend time examining these and from a position of positivity as opposed to limited negativity so you can draw appropriately from your experience to date.

At the same token be aware of the impact of a wrong career choice- demotivated, lowered self confidence, zapped energy, stress and resentment.

So what are the benefits of the right career choice? How about stability and security, momentum and motivation, improved confidence, improved work/life blending. A sense of bringing together all you have to offer? Sound good?

Consider your current job. What does it give you? What is going well for you? What are you achieving right now, how could you improve your contribution, what’s stopping you improving your lot? Examine your work in the context of your whole life, be alert to the dangers of not developing your life outside of work – this will bring energy to work.

Ensure you are not using your current job dissatisfaction as a scapegoat for more general dissatisfaction with your life.


Six golden steps in your process of discovering what you now want before you go to your boss:

1. Examine your current situation and what needs to change
2. Identify what is driving you now and what your priorities and career purpose is now
3. Know what now motivates you in your work
4. Define what “career success” means to you
5. Identify your transferable skills and your relevant work experience to date
6. Match your purpose, skills, experience to the business reality and design a plan for achieving these goals and allocate time

So how can I start to upgrade my career today by staying put in my role? Raise your profile and get positive – people are naturally attracted to positive people and stay away from downbeat individuals.

Consider some up-skilling to freshen up your skills and show the market or current employer you are serious about career development.

Absolute belief in yourself that you can do it! If planning for a promotion share your goals only with supportive people and act the part. Watch out for negative begrudgers!

So to avoid career stagnation syndrome become your own career manager. After all, it’s nobody else’s job. Right?

Jane Downes is one of Ireland’s best known career performance coaches and is founder of Clearview Coaching Group and Author of The Career Book.

Read: Experiencing mothering stress and burnout? Psychologist gives advice on steps to take>

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