It’s that time of the year when we’re all back in the office and the holiday break seems like a distant memory. As for those New Year resolutions, they’re likely to be nowhere to be seen! As we move further into 2019, it’s important that you’re honest with yourself and understand that the career choices you make now will make a big difference to your professional future – for better or worse.
We’re not talking about resetting our New Year resolutions or replacing them. This is about making deliberate and strategic choices that will benefit your career whilst being sustainable for the future, not just in the short-term. I’ve seen it over and over again – people can only last so long in roles they’re not fulfilled by or are just plain unhappy in. I understand change can be difficult, but it can also be incredibly liberating.
Here’s the real question you need to consider: Are you ready?
Finding Your Career Currency
I’ve written and spoken a lot about career currency, and I do so for good reasons. Career currency is based on all of the skills you currently have – your capacity and capability, actions, attitudes and behaviours. They are the things that result in you being rewarded and valued in the workplace.
Identifying your career currency involves asking yourself questions such as:
- What do you have to offer your current employer?
- What can you offer a future employer?
- How current are your skills, qualifications, networks and so on?
- What do you want to be doing more of in your current role? Equally, what would you like to be doing less of? Why?
I appreciate it can be difficult to think about when you are focusing on yourself and not someone else. Career currency is something you build over time and with experience. In today’s rapidly changing workplace environment, it’s also more important than ever to consider the skills that will be in demand in the future and ensure you’ve got them under your belt. And if you don’t, put a plan in place to ensure you’re engaging in adequate development so that you don’t become outdated or unemployable (that’s not a word I enjoy writing and, for the record, it may take some changes and sleepless nights, but we are all employable). You can learn more about career currency here.
Building a Sustainable Career
Your career currency is vital in ensuring your future career is sustainable, and a huge part of this process is the ability to be honest with yourself and seek feedback from others when necessary. Ensuring you’re gaining regular feedback from colleagues means that you can work on the areas you need to – it’s incredibly difficult to pinpoint where you may have gaps in career currency by yourself.
I interact with a lot of people in many different levels of their organisations’ hierarchy. The most successful and content people are those who constantly have their finger on the pulse with future markets. They’re the people who can tell you, in 2019, what leadership will look like in 2025 and beyond. I’ll leave you with that food for thought if you don’t think that’s an accurate description of you!
And don’t forget, you don’t have to walk the career currency path alone. If you’ve identified gaps in your abilities (and we all have them), get in touch with myself and my team for help – before you really need it!
Deborah Wilson is a Thought Leader in Executive Careers. She takes a personalised approach to strategic career coaching and career transitions, mentoring and leadership development. Deborah provides expert guidance for individuals while supporting organisations through change and connecting people and purpose. Call Deborah on +61 403 779 746.www.ontalent.com.au