Career guide you didn’t know you needed

HOW TO...

...GROW WHERE YOU ARE NOW

Manage your manager

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Most employees go to their bosses with problems. It is time to change the narrative, go to your boss with solutions. That is what makes newbies noticeable at work. Regardless of your job description, if you are not yet the CEO, your job is to actually make the CEO’s life easier. If you are dependable and conscientious, that is all the power you will need to manage your manager’s job satisfaction. Do your part; go the extra mile, be professional, show up on time, take feedback seriously, and strive to get honest and authentic solutions for the challenges that come with the job.

Learn from the inside

If you are the CEO of a restaurant chain, try standing behind the counter for a month. Take people’s orders and serve them food. This sounds less glamorous for someone in top management. But by doing this, you will get the incredibly valuable experience in understanding the logistics, the bottlenecks, inefficiencies, customer relations and so much more. Once you know about the major challenges from the grassroots, it will be easier to implement policies that are set to address the challenges realistically. Getting that job in your dream company is a good thing. However, no company is good or bad. Sometimes it’s just about what you make of the job.

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 Your last job is never your last job

Avoid caging yourself in a single career path. New opportunities are created every day. Do not limit yourself by focusing on a single career path. You are the only one with the power to change your career when you realise that it is no longer giving you the satisfaction you had hoped for. Explore about related ways you can put your experience, skills and knowledge to use.

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... COPE AT WORK WHEN YOU DON’T LOVE YOUR JOB BUT CAN’T QUIT

  Seek personal growth

Quitting is not always an option. It can be due to a myriad of reasons like responsibilities and obligations to yourself and family. In this case, have a personal development plan and stick to it. Nowadays, we have opportunities for people to coach you, opportunities to network in person and in LinkedIn, where you can position yourself as looking for other options. Basically, create a plan for your career development and then stick to it. The plan could involve learning a new skill, saving money or establishing something you could do outside of work. This way, even if you are in a toxic environment now, you have a solid plan of exiting later on.

Have people you can decompress with

This could be a trusted colleague that you can discuss with any issues you are grappling with. It can also be your spouse, but with this, you have to be careful so that you don’t just transfer the frustrations from work and take them home. You can have a group of friends where everyone shares and everyone can vent. If someone else is decompressing about their toxic environment, your responsibility is to listen. The idea is to hear the person out and give them an opportunity to share what they are feeling. Talking to people is therapeutic.

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...DECIDE IF YOU CAN TAKE THE LOWER PAYING JOB

Better benefits

The take-home salary isn’t the only type of compensation you should consider before accepting a job offer. If the new employer offers a better benefits package, it might be worth taking a cut on the on-paper salary. For instance, the new job might come with a better health insurance package for you and your family, paid time off for vacation or sick leave, disability or life insurance, a housing allowance, great retirement and pension plans, health and wellness incentives such as a gym, free training or scholarships to pursue higher education and so on- these fringe benefits can easily outweigh a lower take-home salary. You might even end up having extra breathing room in your budget even if your salary has shrunk.

 It’s your dream job

If you’re offered a job you’ve always desired at the company you’ve always imagined yourself working for, it is worth taking even if it comes with a lower salary. Maybe the job comes with a great title, more opportunities for growth in the direction you dream of, and greater personal fulfilment -- which will all be worth it in the long run. It also makes sense if you’re moving from a small organisation to a larger, more robust one with more growth opportunities.

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...ACT WHEN YOU ARE PLANNING TO QUIT

Remain tight-lipped about your plan

Do not announce your intention to leave your job; it could backfire on you and undermine your aptness to find a more fulfilling job. Your manager can also let you go without a positive reference. You can discuss your intentions with someone you trust. Could be a spouse or a mentor who can help you decide on the best way forward. It is also advisable for you to use your personal computer in doing your job search to put off any red flags that may arise in your company internet use.

Maintain high productivity

No matter how much you want to change your job, continue performing your duties to the best of your ability. Maintain a cordial and respectful relationship with colleagues to help you move on with grace. You never know what the future holds; it doesn’t serve anyone to burn bridges. In addition, you may need good references once the time to shift comes. Find time to also educate yourself; get any training that you may need in your next chapter. Show up on time and add your accomplishments to your resume. Take as much experience, knowledge and skill from your current job and bring those attributes along to land the job of your dream.

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Career adviceCareer growthCareer development