We are delighted to introduce the third guest blog post from one of our key partners.This post has been written by Janet Henson-Webb, a Human Resources, Learning and Development Professional and Coach and form the second part in the series ‘Looking for your Ideal Job’…
The Periodic Strategic Review…
Whether you are looking to build your career with your current employer or considering moving to another role in an alternative organisation, it is a useful exercise to take stock from time to time to reflect on your current or most recent work. The purpose of this activity is to identify what you want to stop doing, start doing or continue to do in the future.
The sort of questions you should be asking yourself are:-
- What am I doing that I could do in my sleep? Do I need to keep doing it?
- What am I doing that I have been doing the same way for years?
- What am I doing that I should be getting others to do?
- How much of my time is spent using recently-acquired knowledge?
- How much of what I am doing adds no great value?
- What have I stopped doing or passed onto others recently?
Your answers may indicate that you have:-
- fallen into a safe and predictable routine and become bored;
- become stuck in a rut and your career has plateaued;
- become bogged down in mundane work which it would be more sensible for others to take on or which could be streamlined;
- stopped growing and developing in your role;
- felt that you’re not making a difference in what you do.
You may also feel that you have become categorised and this is adversely affecting your development opportunities. For example, you might have first-class administrative skills and everyone selects you as the “go-to person” to handle all the administrative tasks. Although it feels good to be valued and recognised for your abilities, you may not particularly enjoy admin. You may be good at a particular skill, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to do it all the time. Add this information to your strategic review.
Now think about the 80/20 rule, otherwise known as Pareto’s Principle. Pareto noted that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population and his research indicated that this 80/20 pattern was commonly found in all elements of our lives – including in nature and in commerce. For example, a common rule of thumb in business is that 80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients. Identifying and targeting this 20%, enables you to focus your time and energies on those areas with the highest returns. The same applies to your strategic review.
- Are you spending 80% of your time on something which generates a 20% return?
- Where and how should you be spending your time to best effect? Identify the 20% which generates an 80% return.
- Use this information to identify what you should stop doing, start doing and continue doing to improve your productivity, shape your ideal job and enhance your satisfaction levels.
The Next Step
Now consider what help you might need to achieve whatever it is that you want to do in the future. If you’re intending to stay with your current employer talk to your boss about your strategic review and make sure s/he is aware of the changes you would like to make. By doing this, you will help your boss to understand you better and to accommodate your needs, wherever possible.
Part of that discussion should also include your development needs. Do you have the skills and knowledge to achieve your ideal outcomes? Can these be gained in-house via mentoring, coaching or facilitated work experience or will formal training or additional qualifications be necessary?
Sometimes it’s not always possible for your current employer to meet all your requirements and you may need to look outside your current organisation for your ideal job but, whether you stay or whether you go, the starting point is to be able to understand and communicate the changes you want and need to implement for that ideal next step. Why not make a start right now?
Janet Henson-Webb is a Human Resources, Learning and Development Professional and Coach with over 25 years’ experience of helping organisations realise the potential of their HR investment. She has worked with a variety of organisations from start-ups to well-established businesses covering a diversity of markets and products, supporting them to enhance productivity and the bottom line by:-
- improving individual and team performance;
- developing their leaders and managers;
- mentoring those with HR responsibilities to expand their skills and knowledge;
- improving communications within the organisation or between individuals;
- providing practical assistance to staff impacted by an organisational restructure.
For more information on the services that Janet provides, please visit her website