Is Your Career Off Track? Here are Some Tips to Steer it Back
Let’s face it – careers have ups, downs, and steady points. Sometimes a steady job can become a plateau we are comfortable with or worst case, a rut. If you are in the same position for several years, are you growing? And are you comfortable or complacent?
If your desire is to keep moving up in your career, the first step in getting back on track is understanding where you are currently. Have you outgrown your position? Are you still challenged? Do you have a career or just a job you could do (and sometimes actually do) in your sleep?
If you come to the conclusion that you are merely off track, stuck, etc. we need to find ways to get you back in the game. But why aren’t you always looking for ways to grow? Here are a few common reasons that payroll and HR professionals find themselves stuck – and some things to do about them.
Status Quo is Comfortable Let’s face it – change scares most of us. So many professionals in all walks of life, including payroll and HR in Ohio, settle in for the long haul. This job is good, it pays my bills, I only work 9-5 and never have to worry about the job outside of work. It is routine and easy for you. Ask yourself, is all of that good? How important is it for you to be challenged? Do you want a job or a career, because they are different things. One pays the bills, one fulfills. There is no wrong answer, but figure it out for yourself!
Baggage Sometimes HR and payroll professionals find themselves stuck or off track because of their own history, and corresponding negative baggage. There may have been personal issues, a conflict handled poorly in a meeting, or a workplace mistake that brands you as the misfit. You aren’t asked to leave, but because of your baggage you have “maxed out” at your company and need a fresh start. This takes tough self examination as none of us like to admit our mistakes, but if you’ve made some, you’re human and it may be best to move on. When you get to your new company look at it as an opportunity to be a model payroll or HR employee by getting involved and adding value beyond your job description.
Culture Clash Have you ever been in a payroll or HR position where you just knew you were the square peg in the round hole? It doesn’t have to be that you don’t like your coworkers or they don’t like you, you just see the world differently. Organizations have character traits that can be a better fit for entrepreneurial or corporate personalities. If you don’t fit, you may get by, but you won’t thrive. Do your communication style, leadership style, etc. fit within your organization? If not, you won’t meet your potential without moving on.
You’re a Wallflower Managers don’t necessarily know if you aren’t feeling challenged. In many payroll and HR environments you need to speak up and ask to take on more. State your goals and ask your boss to help you get there. You will find out quickly if your place of employment can help you grow or if you have “topped out.”
Your Network Needs Help Are you putting yourself in a position to land your next HR or payroll job? You can do this either by seeking out a mentor in your own organization, expanding your network with professionals from other organizations, or both. Go to SHRM, IHRIM, APA and other industry organization meetings to make sure that if an opportunity arises, you’re on someone’s mind.