In my last post, I talked about ways to make sure that you didn’t get a pink slip in today’s difficult economy. I mentioned things like not rushing out the door the instant the clock struck five and making sure you keep a positive attitude, all of which are some of the “no-brainers” that many of us forget about over time as we get comfortable in a job.
But one commenter mentioned brought up a bigger issue. If you’re watching the clock all day or if you have a negative attitude about your job, maybe you should rethink that job altogether. Should we all be using this time to get a reality check on our current job situations and look for something new? Something that inspires us?
Of course! Especially because I think you learn so much about an company by the way they treat their employees during a downturn. Has your organization used the recession as an excuse to treat you and your coworkers with disrespect or take advantage of you? Have they taken away perks that don’t affect the bottom line and blamed the economic downturn? Has the work environment become unbearable? These are all signs that it might be time to move on.
However, moving on in a recession can be scary. You want to make sure that you’re doing the right thing. And, even more than that, you want to make sure that, no matter what happens, you’ll be able to pay your bills.
It’s time to take stock, to think about what you want to do next and to make a plan to get there. Here are a few things to think about as you plot your next move:
1. What attracted you to your current job in the first place?
2. What are your favorite aspects of your current job?
3. What did you always dream of doing when you grew up? Are there ways to incorporate those dreams into your job?
4. What is your proudest career accomplishment?
5. If you could get rid of one work task, what would it be?
6. What do you wish you could do more of?
Doing some real soul searching can help you identify exactly what you want your next steps to be. By thinking about the things you love and hate about your current position, you can start forming a list of all the qualities you’re looking for in your next position. Maybe you need more flexible hours or you’re looking for more management experience. Perhaps you want to do more writing or to flex your sales muscles. These are all important things to consider as you start to think about your next steps. It is so easy to just jump ship when things are going poorly at work, but by taking time to think about what you want and where you want to go next, you’ll be able to jump to a bigger and better ship, instead of just being tossed around in the waves.
Read more from contributing writer Jennifer Lee Johnson on her personal finance blog, The Next Rich Girl, or follow her on twitter.