Do you feel like a zombie plodding to and from work every day, uninspired and zapped of joy? Does your paycheck make you frown? Has stress made you so tense that you could karate chop a board with your bare hand right now without flinching? If you answered yes to any of these questions – youre due for a career reboot!
With the holidays quickly approaching, the New Year will be here before we know it. But theres still time to end the year strong! Before you get distracted with Turkey recipes and Black Friday sales, set aside some time for yourself to improve your career and finances. Follow these easy tips to give your career a reboot sooner rather than later.
1. Invite your boss to lunch or happy hour. How much happiness, longevity and upward mobility you experience at work can be largely impacted by how well you know your boss. If you cant recall the last time you had an engaging conversation with your manager, youre missing out.
The better you get to know your boss, the more support, mentorship and satisfaction youre likely to get in your job. Just like in any relationship, it takes effort and communication to develop trust, camaraderie and collaboration at the office. Spend some quality time getting to know your boss, and demonstrate an interest in his or her contributions both on and off the job. Youll be surprised what you can learn and how much fun you should have in the process.
2. Ask for a performance review. Many companies dont have a formal performance appraisal process, but that doesnt mean you cant ask for one. Some of the greatest benefits of performance reviews are receiving constructive feedback and having the chance to present why your hard work deserves a raise, bonus and a promotion.
Managers can be forgetful, so performance reviews are a perfect time to remind your boss of the accomplishments youve made all year and express your interest in taking on new responsibilities. Engaged and proactive employees tend to be the happiest and most successful.
3. Attack your biggest weakness. Have you ever asked yourself if your weaknesses are holding you back? Like it or not, they might be the root cause to why youve fallen into a slump at work. Identify what your biggest weakness is in your career and start to attack it head on. Change is definitely hard, but with a little patience, practice and persistence you can conquer any challenge. There are always ways to improve, learn new skills and gain fresh perspectives. Dont feel you have to go at it alone either. Reach out to a mentor or colleague and get advice on ways to overcome your biggest weakness step-by-step. The results could amaze you.
4. Know what youre worth. With year-end approaching, most people are thinking about compensation, probably including you. But do you know what youre worth? Research compensation figures for your specific niche and years of experience. If you feel dissatisfied with your salary, dont sell yourself short or underestimate your employers ability to offer compensation increases, especially if youre a top performer.
Recent data by the Conference Board reports many companies plan to increase their compensation budgets by about 3 percent next year. But if youre a top performer, you could be eligible for much more than the median. Keep in mind, however, that more and more companies are starting to prefer offering compensation increases to employees in the form of bonuses as opposed to raises.
5. Analyze your tenure. Take a minute and ask yourself if youre job-hopping too often or perhaps not enough. Studies show that 40 percent of HR leaders reported their number one challenge is employee turnover. Company loyalty certainly isnt what it used to be. Reports show that the average employee tenure is now less than three years for Millennials, and under five years across all age groups. Do those numbers sound high or low to you? How long you stay with a company can depend on many factors including your age, industry, location, skillsets, motivations, networking skills and time spent seeking other opportunities.
If your current tenure is far below or above average for your line of work, it could be affecting your career growth. Most hiring managers arent interested in candidates who havent shown commitment to prior jobs. On the flip side, staying at one firm for too long could impede your earnings potential. Switching companies might increase your income and title faster than staying put for an extended period.
End the year strong
Since we spend so many years working, dont you think its worth putting in some extra effort now to make the most of your career? Dont lose out on happiness, promotions and great compensation by getting stuck in a rut. Get proactive and give your career a boost and reboot!
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 Henry, Zoe, Study: Companies not likely to offer pay raises in 2017, Inc., August 3, 2016.
 Globoforce, SHRM/Globoforce Survey Reveals Employee Turnover Is Top Workforce Challenge Facing HR Leaders, Globoforce, June 22, 2015.
 Morgan, Jacob, Employee Tenure Is Shrinking: What Do We Do? Forbes, February 24, 2015.