by Tracy Collingwood, ’94, Director of Career Development
What do you do when you are at that stage in your career when you aren’t sure of your next step? We’ve all been there. Maybe you no longer feel challenged or enjoy your work. Or perhaps you feel undervalued, underutilized, or don’t see upward mobility in your future.
Whatever the case may be for you, it’s a difficult situation to be in. So how can you change it?
The first step is to do an honest evaluation of why you are not happy. Ask yourself the following questions and consider what might have recently changed in your environment, or in you.
- Are there work tasks that you perform on a daily basis that you no longer enjoy?
- Did the leadership in your organization or the makeup of your team/co-workers change?
- Are there workload, budget or efficiency issues causing the organization added stress?
- Are you ready to take the next step in your career, but feel as though you’re hitting a wall?
Sometimes it is hard to know what is causing your career uneasiness. Once you have more insight into what may be causing this, the next step is to use that information to determine what could make you more fulfilled. For example, if you don’t see upward mobility within your current position but like the overall work environment, look around the entire organization to see if there are other areas that could use your skill set. Don’t automatically assume that you need to leave to regain satisfaction.
If you determine you do need to leave, look back at your answers to the questions posed. What answers would make you happier? If there are tasks you no longer enjoy, ask yourself what responsibilities you have that do still bring you satisfaction. Do you have co-workers, friends, family or neighbors who seem happy with their jobs? Talk with them and find out what they do, or what they are doing differently in their lives to find fulfillment.
It’s not an easy process. Sometimes the answers aren’t evident. If you’re feeling stuck and unhappy with your situation, this is one way to start moving forward. But you don’t have to do it alone! Remember, the counselors in the Career Development Office are at your service throughout your careers — not just while you’re a student on campus.
Our team is a great resource to assist you as you embark on your journey to answer the “what next” question in your journey. We can review your résumé, offer interviewing tips, help you with job searches, and increase your alumni support network. Don’t hesitate to call us at (716) 673-3327, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or view the many tools and information we have available for you at www.fredonia.edu/cdo.