As we are rapidly approaching the end of the year and the close of 2014, we are swamped with year-end retrospectives. Everywhere you turn there is a list of the top news stories, movies, CDs, etc. of the year as people take a look back before jumping forward into 2015.
If you are currently employed, why not do something similar for yourself and examine your career by reviewing 2014. It is ironic that very few people do this, especially since at this time of year almost all employers start conducting their performance review for the past year. If your employer is reviewing you, why not also review them?
In my opinion, you owe it to yourself to conduct this examination and determine if you are where you want to be in your career. If you are not, how do you plan to change that? In many cases this will mean a decision to start looking for new employment while you are with your current employer.
If you are wondering what you should look at in this review, there are probably a couple of obvious ones along with, perhaps, many that are not as clear. Let’s now take a look at some of the items you can examine while conducting your year-end review.
• Compensation – Probably the area that first jumped into the minds of most people. Virtually none of us are fortunate enough to be happy with our compensation, but the biggest question to ask is if you are worth more. Are you being paid less than what you know the market to be for your skills? You may be able to determine this from co-workers leaving for more money, or friends and family you have working from other companies (the Internet can be a source, also).
• Benefits – If the compensation is not #1 for you, then the company benefits may be at the top. Assess the overall package of your current employer and determine if there is anything missing that is very important to you. It may be a better medical offering, or the need for a 401k. What makes benefits so interesting is that what is important to you in this area can change dramatically with life events, such as children or even starting to think about retirement.
• Your Supervisor – It is tough to endure work if you don’t have at least a professional relationship with your boss. A great relationship with your boss can cause you to overlook a lot of other deficiencies, perhaps even lower compensation. How is your relationship with your supervisor and is it toxic enough to cause you to start looking for new employment?
• Career Growth – In today’s world, if you are not constantly trying to grow, you run the risk of being passed by for opportunities. Everyone has windows of opportunity that open for them to move forward in his or her career. If you feel you are in one of those spots, but do not see a promotion happening with your current company, then a move may be in order.
• Company Success – Employees have to stay one step ahead of a company’s downturns, or else run the risk of being part of a reduction in force. How did your company do in 2014? If it was not good enough, then you may want to be proactive and start looking to see what else is out there.
• Market for Your Talent – As mentioned earlier, we generally have windows of opportunity that open up for us in our careers. One of these windows may come from the market for your skill or experience. This may be because a competitor has come to town looking for talent, or you have a skill that is currently in high demand. Whatever the reason, assess how much interest you may find in the market, and determine if the timing is right for you to jump in.
• Work-Life Balance – Did you find yourself, in 2014, “living” at work due to the number of hours being worked? Do you dread facing another year just like it? Are you constantly pushed with doing more with less, which usually means more from you? “Yes” answers to these questions may mean (for your own sanity, or for the sake of your family) a new company with more reasonable expectations is needed.
• Miscellaneous – There is a laundry list of other items you can assess to determine if it is time to start searching. How long is your commute? Is the drive and wear and tear on your vehicle becoming too much? Do you get along with your co-workers, or are they rude (or don’t carry enough of the load)?
Before you reach a final conclusion regarding whether to start conducting a job search, you have to determine truly how important are the areas that you currently feel are deficient. If they are in areas that are important to you either individual or due to its cumulative effect, then a job search is in order.
WNYJobs.com provides you an opportunity to seek employment whether unemployed or currently working, by allowing you to create a profile that outlines your status in the job market and what you are looking for (for those employed, the area you will want to create a profile is called “Employed But…Open to Opportunities). Jump on the https://www.wnyjobs.com website, under the “Set Up Profile” tab, for more details.
As always, best of luck in your job search.
The following has been prepared for the general information of WNYJobs readers. It is not meant to provide advice with respect to any specific legal or policy matter and should not be acted upon without verification by the reader.
WNY Human Resources Professional
Feel free to contact Joe Stein regarding questions or comments at: