Chris Savage tackles your career and agency dilemmas in his weekly advice column which first appeared in Encore.
I’ve spent the last couple of years climbing the agency ladder and now, finally, find myself in the role I always dreamed of. I thought this job would make me happy but it doesn’t. I’m bored and starting to think about my next move. How should I figure out what to do now?
Don’t. Start by trying to make the grass greener on this side of the fence. You have so much vested in your current role and company, so many people relying on you, and so much opportunity now as a leader to make a powerful difference. Be cautious about chasing something new. Here’s what to do.
First, do my ‘How To Have The Best Job In The World’ test. There are five categories. Score yourself out of 10 for each, one out of 10 being ‘This is a disaster and could not get worse’ and 10 out of 10 being ‘This is brilliant, amazing, and could hardly get better’. Here are the five categories:
1. I make a powerful and valuable difference
2. I continue to learn and grow
3. It is fun
4. It is good for my family and my life
5. The rewards are fair
What’s your score out of 50? If above 35, you actually have a great job… if below, there is work to be done. Focus then on the categories where your scores are below seven. And think hard on what you can do to lift those scores. If you are bored then you’re not learning, not being challenged, and not having fun. So how can you focus on doing work or projects that stretch you, that make your heart beat a bit faster, make you uncomfortable? Get hungry for new learning and use that to add new value.
Also, think hard about how you can work more often in your element. What do you do in your role that you love doing, and are really good at? Then try to shape your role so you do more and more of that stuff – the stuff that energises you, rather than the stuff you are good at but leaves you depleted. Think about it. It’s the secret to never working another day in your life.
And if that does not work – and you really want to leave – then go for it. Get clear on what makes up your element – what you want to do every day that you love doing and are really good at; then think about roles that might give you that; and start as many conversations as you can with people who can steer you towards those roles. The dots will join. What you do next will become apparent.
Chris Savage is the chief operating officer of STW Group. His blog, Wrestling Possums with Chris Savage, can be found at chrisjohnsavage.com
This story first appeared in the weekly edition of Encore available for iPad and Android tablets. Visit encore.com.au for a preview of the app or click below to download.