*Tick tick tick*
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about my career. Yep, I already have a job, but it never hurts to ponder where you’re heading and what your future holds.
My grandparents tell me stories about how they became proficient in one area and had the same job all their lives.
My parents tell me stories about how they worked in one area for as long as possible, but trends changed and more people would try their hand at different jobs throughout their lives.
These days, changing jobs is the norm — in fact, recent US research shows the average length of time people stay in a job is 4.4 years. From all the conversations I’ve had and information I’ve gathered, the following are the areas that I believe are initially important to consider when thinking about your career, or looking to work elsewhere.
Do what you love and love what you do.
When you stop (or even begin to stop) loving it, you should be looking at your next career move.
Know your passion.
Knowing what you’re passionate about will really help you work out your career direction.
Know your limits and boundaries.
For example: I know that time in the morning is very important to me, in particular the fact that I need to go slower than the average person. So, I have always been upfront with myself and employers regarding this.
You know people, who know people…. who know people….
It never hurts to tell others, friends and family, if you are looking to work elsewhere. You never know what kind of connections they might have.
Know your rights and responsibilities!
It is also important to know your rights when applying for jobs. We all have rights, which are applicable in all areas of our lives, and with rights come responsibilities. Fairness is a two-way street.
A particular favourite of mine is from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD):
Article 27 – Work and employment, states ‘Parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities to work, on an equal basis with others; this includes the right to the opportunity to gain a living by work freely chosen or accepted in a labour market and work environment that is open, inclusive and accessible to persons with disabilities.’
Translation? You have the right to work, in an environment that is inclusive and accessible. Knowing your rights might help to give you the confidence you need to chase that dream job. But be careful not to let knowing your rights slip into a sense of entitlement — be prepared to negotiate with your employer to create a win-win situation.
What are your key tips when looking for work or thinking about your career path?