Establishing your Career
Last fall we talked about the 3 Signs It’s Time To Look For A New Job. Those three indicators relate to a lack of learning/growth opportunities and changing culture/relationships with a bias toward increasing toxicity. They apply to persons in any stage of their career. However, for persons in the early career stages, other rationale comes into play as well.
Particularly important for persons in the early stages of their careers is to keep an open mind about opportunities. In the first couple of years out of school, one may find themselves still in a learning mode with advancement opportunities in front and yet with a company whose core business leaves them uninspired or worse, heading in the wrong direction from a skills and experience perspective.
Career gurus constantly speak of the incredible power of human potential, most especially when one is able to tap into their core passions. If your work and company environment jazzes you, creating energy, excitement and enthusiasm, congratulations! You have found something very precious. On the other hand, if the work leaves you closer to the other end of the ‘passion spectrum’, you may wish to look more closely. Dragging yourself into a job that fails to generate interest/excitement is a sure formula for career mediocrity. It is simply much harder to pour a hundred percent of your effort into something for which you are emotionally unavailable. While this holds true at any time of your career, it is especially true for your early career when work habits and career trajectory are still in their formative stages.
How Does your Employer Invest in you?
Another circumstance that bears close consideration relates to the actual work you are doing. Does your employer invest in its people for training and tools? You may feel really good about what you are doing only to find, upon further investigation, that the skills and experience you are gaining will not resonate in the market should you need to seek new employment at some point. Here is a quick example. One of the very hottest sectors of the job market is Microsoft development. There are fewer people with these skills than jobs available. A very good thing for you if you are a Microsoft Developer. And yet, there are a number of Microsoft Developers with stable track records and excellent performance who can’t find satisfactory job alternatives. Why? Their employers deliver software based products or services in a fashion that is now out of date.
Companies and people use to buy software. Now we buy access to software. Microsoft Developers who are with companies that still actually sell software have skills that were relevant 10 years ago, before Cloud technologies came into vogue. Developers who remained with companies that weren’t keeping up now have skills as outdated as their employer’s business model. Oops.
If you are in the early stages of your career, you should be looking both inward and outward. Inward to explore how passionate you are about that which you do. Outward to see if what you do will keep your skills and experience relevant in the job market.