Is it time for a career MOT? – Four ways to check your career is on track
There is a reason a car needs an MOT. Initially, they don’t need one of course, because the car is shiny, fully tested and you can expect a trouble-free period. It is only later that the MOT becomes important because, by the time you need to take your faithful old car off to the annual service and check-up, it has been around for a while. The MOT is there to take a good look at how your car is performing and, even though it is a familiar friend in some cases, warn you that it may be about to need some major work or even need completely changing.
Sadly, your career doesn’t have a fixed MOT point, which is a real shame, because just like a car, it tends to start out all shiny and new, but at some point, you can begin to notice little niggles creeping in. Just like a car, you may find yourself a bit reluctant to start on a cold morning or occasionally not quite getting up to speed at work.
Perhaps it’s time to give your career a bit of a four-point MOT check-up.
- Start by asking yourself honestly how much of your career is about familiarity. A mechanic once told me that many problems people have with their car are due to them becoming so familiar with the warning signs that they stop noticing them. Has this happened to your career? Are you just ignoring the issues that are actually stalling your progress? It may be comfortable and easy in your current role and that is fine if that is all you want for years to come, but if the role is stifling your potential, then you have an issue to deal with.
- Make a cup of tea and think about the good old days. Has there ever been a time when you were more enthusiastic and proactive in your aims for your career than you are now? If so, is it because you have settled for your current role and lost the momentum to develop yourself more.
- Was your current role supposed to be a stepping stone on the way to a better job? This is a very common problem because often we map our career and then simply don’t use it. We can get swamped with an out of kilter work-life balance, for example, or just forget where we were going.
- Are you getting job satisfaction? This is a really big factor in any decision to move on to pastures new. Job satisfaction can be hard to pin down, but it is more than a nice couple of days at work that take your mind off the three others in the week where you felt unfulfilled. It is also not about a bad day when most of the time you are entirely satisfied and challenged at work. It is about the overall experience. Do you feel satisfied for a significant amount of the time? Does your management team help, advise, listen, and review your work? Do you feel part of things or just a worker turning up for the wage?
Come and see us
If these are familiar, then you have probably done something that is very easy to do and forgotten your MOT on your career. Trust me, we see a lot of people with the same issue. Life has a sneaky way of distracting us from our overall goals, but if you give yourself a career check and it makes you feel a little like you need a change to get your career back on track, pop in and see us. We will make the time to sit down, talk through what you want to do and where you want to be, then we can discuss options to get your career back on the road.