Sunday, July 16, 2017

Climbing Out Of A Career Rut: Where Will Your Next Step Take You?

As the weekend draws to a close, I'm already plotting the coming week. There's a lot of work coming up but I'm also seeing friends, getting a treatment from my skin and body clinic of choice (I choose Flawless!), and diving into lots of school-related concerns since it's oral tests and PTC this week! Thank goodness my work set-up is flexible. It really is kind to my situation as a mommy of small kids.

Many of my Loyal Readers have emailed me telling me they wish they can just quit their jobs just like I did. Well, it wasn't that easy. When I left my employment, I walked away with a generous compensation package earned from more than a decade's work. While I agree with the wish that all moms can spend more time with their kids, I'm also aware that not all of us can do this freelance life. For one thing, the pay checks come at erratic times, which can be a source of worry especially since we have kids to feed and send to school. Honestly, I'm starting to think of going back to the corporate world! So if you wish you were also a freelancer and entrepreneur like me, think of your financial situation first. If you determine that regular pay checks are better for your family, then stay employed. Just think of ways to improve your work situation!

We all have days when going to work is the last thing we want to do. However, if you feel like this every day, it’s likely that you’ve fallen into a career rut. If your current job doesn’t fulfill you, you feel like you’re giving everything for nothing in return, you’re exhausted, or you crave more, it may be time for a change. Where will your next step take you?

If you love your job but you’ve been at the same level for years, and you want to take on new challenges and earn more money, why not look into the possibility of working towards a promotion? Let your boss know that you’d be interested in any roles that become available, and try and make sure you put your case forward in the best way possible. Show that you’re passionate about moving upwards and that you’re committed to the company. If the company says there's no budget for a bigger salary, sometimes it's possible to ask for a higher position anyway and ask for another kind of compensation—like flexible work hours, a car, travel with learning opportunities, even a home nearer your place of work!

If there aren’t any posts available and movement within the firm is restricted, only then should your consider looking at jobs offered by different companies. Even if you get on really well with your colleagues, you don’t want to stay on the same rung of the ladder for too long. 

Sometimes, a change of scenery is what we need when life becomes a little mundane. If you enjoy your current job and you want to stay with the company, ask about the possibility of moving to a different branch or taking a position in a different province, or even another country. When I was looking for jobs last year, my family advised me to apply to international companies so that in case the Philippines implodes, I have a chance to migrate to another country via my work. If you're looking for a job where your working environment is conducive for growth, you can check out software engineer jobs in Boston and see if something catches your attention. With plenty of options available, you might consider taking it up there.

Before you research long distance moving companies, think carefully about the jobs on offer, make sure they appeal to you, and find out exactly what the move entails. For example, will your new job pay enough in case your husband will have to quit his job to move with you? Will your kids miss their school and friends? Then again, your new office doesn't have to be a country away! You can do it the way my mother did—she found out a Meralco branch was opening right outside our subdivision so she asked for a transfer there. She was happier to be nearer our home. So even if you’re only relocating to an office a few kilometers down the highway, you can still benefit from meeting new people and experiencing a different environment.

Change of career
Of course, if you're really unhappy with your job, by all means consider leaving it! It’s important to put food on the table, but it’s also beneficial to get something other than financial reward out of employment. If you dread every morning or work is purely a means of paying bills, think about what you really want to do, and start working out how you can get there. This is easier said than done, of course, because your family needs to be financially secure before you take the leap, but when you're finally ready to take that leap, do it! You may need to study, train or get some experience, but it’s worth making changes that will benefit you in the future now.

Career break
Sometimes, when you’re burned out and you’ve been working incredibly hard for as long as you can remember, a career break can do you a world of good. Even if you only take a few weeks to relax, do something different—take some time out to travel and catch up with friends, learn a new skill, 
refresh knowledge by enrolling in online courses, or even if it's as simple as spending time with your kids and just being a housewife (which may make you decide if being a housewife is something you really want!), time off will let you think about what you’re going to do next. You can either go back to work refreshed or you can have that drive to start a new job with a new lease of life. 

If you’re stuck in a career rut, it’s time to mull over your options and work out where your next step will take you. Good luck, working mamas!

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