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Ten signs your career needs a spring clean (Candidate Blog)

Over familiarity

It sounds strange but think back to when you started your new job; everything from the office environment to the team seem interesting and new.  It takes a few weeks to learn where everything is and who does what. After a few months you enter a comfortable phase where you know everything you need to know to perform but often after some years the physical environment and routine can become uninspiring. We've all had the scenario where we drive to work without even remembering the journey. If you are starting to feel like an extra in the movie groundhog day or you are at risk of turning into the same tuna sandwich which you have bought for lunch from the same shop every day then maybe it's time to make some changes. The old adage "a change is as good as a rest rings true".

You are too good at your job!

Isn't that the point? I hear you ask and yes, ideally we should all move to the 'conscious competence' phase of our job and perform to the optimum. But if you really feel like the finished article and aren't learning any new skills or challenging yourself then maybe it's time to look for your next challenge either within the business or elsewhere. 

Everyone else has left or been promoted

Most of us like to see our colleagues do well and progress but if you feel as if everyone else is progressing within the organisation or moving on to pastures new whilst you are still in the same job maybe it's time to investigate opportunities internally or perhaps with other departments or outside of the organisation.

Your boss plans to leave in a box!!

Obviously it's great to have long service in an organisation but additionally a sound succession plan is vital to motivate and retain up and coming talent. If you feel that those above you will be there until they retire and this isn't on the horizon then it may be time to look for something new rather than become disillusioned with the lack of progression available.

You're a round peg in a square hole.

Belonging to an organisation takes more than having your name on a business card. Ideally the company we work for should reflect our values and be a cultural match. Often company dynamics can change rapidly through reorganisation, acquisition or changes at senior level. If you get the feeling that your 'face doesn't fit anymore' it's worth taking the time to see if you can adapt to the changing environment but often it's best to move to an organisation that reflects who we are rather than feeling compromised or uncomfortable.

You're counting the days!!!

It's natural to enjoy some time off and we all look forward to our holidays to recharge our batteries, perhaps get some sun and spend time with loved ones and friends. However, if you are merely counting the days until your next time away from the office or getting that dreaded feeling when it's time to return, perhaps it's time to take stock. We spend a large proportion of our lives at work, so make it the best time possible.

You can't afford to stay!

Money is obviously a big part of why we all work but the day to day challenge, serving the community, belonging to a team and making a worthwhile contribution are all equally as important to many people. With the rising cost of living many people feel that they are not being rewarded for the job they do or hours they work. In the current climate it's worth keeping abreast of market trends and what competitors and comparable roles are paying. With companies under pressure to balance the books It's always worth discussing the possibility of a pay rise in a constructive and open manner with your boss. Perhaps you could take on additional responsibility or suggest ways that the company can save in other areas. Ultimately, if you feel that the company is not willing to reward you then it's time to take stock.

The people are the problem!

Work is all about effectively communicating and compromising to ensure that whatever needs to be done is completed, targets are met, projects are delivered. Success at work means adapting, not taking things personally and learning to cope with a variety of personalities and quirks. However, to perform well we should ideally be surrounded by supportive, positive people. We are legally protected from discrimination at work based on our gender, race or disability but subtler, passive- aggressive bullying or harassment can take place and it can be difficult to address. It's advisable to speak to your boss or, if they are the perpetrator then a union official, HR Manager or decision maker in the business to try to resolve matters. Documentation is key but if you cannot resolve the issues raised and feel it's effecting your performance then moving to pastures new might be the best option to ensure your happiness.

Your brain needs a workout

When we are training or studying it's very tiring because we are taking on board new knowledge or growing your skill set. It's widely accepted that lifelong learning is the key to optimising workplace motivation and performance as well as personal growth and studies show it can be linked to avoiding degenerative diseases in the long-term. Whether it's reading a book to widen your knowledge of a particular area or in house training to widen your skill set, ideally we should all have regular external input. Keeping abreast of industry developments, legislation and trends is important to operate successfully. Ideally this should be supported by our employers with time off and funding. If this isn't the case it may be time to look around at other options.

You have a dream!!

Often we find ourselves in careers and jobs which we didn't plan. This can be a good thing but the days of leaving school or university and staying in the same company until we retire are far behind us. It's perfectly acceptable for people to re-train and have several changes of career throughout their working life. If you've spent your career as an Accountant but secretly always had a desire to be a Florist. Perhaps you could do an evening class or work on a part-time basis in your new chosen area rather than taking the plunge without dipping your toe in the water. Ultimately life's too short to spend your time in a job which makes you unhappy.

Extension Recruitment are a leading recruitment company specialising in career spring cleans whatever the season!! 

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