Finding the work you love is a continuous process.

 

Have you been thinking about what to do next in your career? Careers evolve over time – a step forward, a step back. If you’re asking the question, you’re already engaged in the on-going process of  

assessing your current situation, seeking input from respected mentors and exploring options.

 

Organizations are living organisms, constantly in motion, shape-shifting, evolving as priorities and customers change. As a member of an organization you’re also changing in response to the work, your managers and your colleagues. One day that ‘perfect’ job doesn’t seem so perfect anymore. What happened? 

We become so engaged in our individual and team assignments that we often lose sight of the larger environment and miss the signs of realignment. The workplace becomes comfortable and that’s not always a good thing. I’m not suggesting you become a human organizational seismograph, measuring each shift in workplace culture. I am advocating for transition preparedness: awareness, expertise and connection. 

 

Awareness – Stay up to date with trends in your chosen career field. Are credential requirements changing? What do new hires have in their portfolio that you’re missing? Where are the growth opportunities? Who’s the competition? Is there someone out there with an idea that will replace the product your organization offers? 

 

Expertise – Lifelong learning is not just a concept, it’s a requirement. Constantly evaluate your skill set against your competition. Where are the gaps in your expertise? How can you gain the knowledge you need? Enroll in courses offered internally by your organization, through a professional association, local college or online.

 

Connection – The number one resource is your local or university librarian. Consider them your career connection curator – providing access to information, contacts and ideas. Reach out across functional lines within your organization and get to know folks in a variety of departments. Identify the individuals who are doing the job you want. How did they get there? What was their education background? What’s changed since they started working? What advice do they have for you? 

 

Finding the work you love is work - a commitment with the potential to transform. It can be a bit of an adventure, discovering new options. But if you don’t know your options, how will you find the work you love?