Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Dondi Scumaci's book, Career Moves: How to Plan for Success, Create Value for Your Organization, and Make Yourself Indispensible No Matter Where You Work, (Strang Publishing Group, 2009).

 

If you don't enjoy your job, you don't need to settle for it.  God wants you to work at your highest potential, and that includes a fulfilling job where you can make the contributions He has designed you to make.  So don't hesitate to move on to better job situation - either by making changes in your current position, or by finding a new one.

Here's how you can make wise career moves:

Notice moving signs.  Signs that indicate that it may be time to move on to a better work situation include:

o       feeling a sense of discontent,

o       realizing that your current work isn't helping you achieve your future career goals,

o       feeling disengaged with your work so that you're not giving your best effort to it,

o       experiencing so much pressure that you can't rest enough,

o       experiencing too little pressure to motivate you to reach toward challenges and professional growth,

o       working on assignments that others in your organization don't notice enough or don't value enough,

o       finding that your job doesn't fit your life well (such as not giving you the right balance between home and work, or not tapping into the passions that motivate you),

o       finding that your job doesn't fit you because your skills aren't suited for the position you're in,

o       realizing that your strengths and gifts aren't being used on the job but that your comfort zone is holding you there and causing you to settle for less than the best, and

o       recognizing that you have some malicious motives about the relationships and situations you must deal with at work.

Develop a strategy.  Be sure to make each career move in the context of where you want to go.  Rather than running away from something, reach for something.  Think and pray about your strategy so you can be proactive instead of reactive.  Be patient with yourself and the process, listening carefully to what God reveals to you about yourself and His purposes for you.  Think of your career as a story and ask yourself:

"What pieces of my story are working well?"

"Which parts are not?"

"How satisfied am I with the plot and the characters?" and

"How do I want my story to turn out?"

Reinvent your current job.  You may be able to change your job without leaving it for a new one.  Get additional training that will help you develop the skills you need to better meet your career goals.  Ask your customers and coworkers what they need, and once you understand their needs well, carve out your niche by delivering those results as a valuable member of the team.  Get to work solving problems and improving processes in your organization.  Do all you can to add value to the place where you work.  Be willing to take a step back (such as by taking a pay cut or moving down your company's organizational chart) in order to step ahead to the role you most want to play at work.

Avoid bad moves.  Don't derail your career by making mistakes like avoiding conflict (rather than using it to grow), allowing your emotions to run out of control, being naïve about the reality of office politics, and failing to accept responsibility for making and carrying out your own decisions.

Network with others.  Develop a strategy for how to network with other people to help each other grow professionally.  Communicate with colleagues and mentors regularly in person, by phone, and online.  Ask thoughtful questions and listen more than you talk.  Build a base of knowledge that helps you understand each other's goals, concerns, and needs.  Encourage each other to be bold about taking the risks God calls you take to grow professionally.

Improvise.  Respond creatively and spontaneously to problems that arise at work.  Ask God to give you the courage to take the initiative to help solve problems.  Pray for bold ideas for how to approach the problems, and act on those ideas.

Design a personal brand.  Ask God to show you what is unique and special about you that you can offer to the world through your work.  Then make the people you work with aware of those attributes by reinforcing them consistently through the way you do your job and by marketing the distinctive value of your work.  Show others what you want them to think, feel, and believe about you by adding value to your organization regularly in unique ways through your work.

Exit if you need to go in order to grow.  If God makes it clear to you that the best way to find greater job fulfillment is to leave your current job and move to a new one, make the transition gracefully.  Make sure to understand the issues and problems involved so you can learn from them and won't repeat an unhealthy situation in your next job.  Tell your boss before anyone else about your plans, and do so in person if possible.  Think about how your absence will impact the people who rely on you, and help them prepare well for your departure.  Right up until the moment you quit, continue to give your job your best efforts.  Don't speak negatively about your organization or anyone in it on your way out; bite your tongue if you can't speak positively about a certain person or situation.  Keep in touch with the people you've worked with after you've moved on to your new job.

Keep seeking fresh inspiration.  Never allow yourself to sink into stagnation, either spiritually or professionally.  Ask God to help you keep growing closer to Him and fulfilling more of His purposes for your life.

Adapted from Career Moves: How to Plan for Success, Create Value for Your Organization, and Make Yourself Indispensible No Matter Where You Work, copyright 2010 by Dondi Scumaci. Published by Excel Books, a division of Strang Publishing Group, Lake Mary, Florida, www.strangbookgroup.com.   

Dondi Scumaci is an international speaker, author and expert in professional and personal development.  Scumaci's signature 10 commandments, designed to mentor women, are a result of a seasoned business career spanning more than 20 years, including tenure as director for two top U.S. financial institutions. In 1995, she founded an advising firm, where she currently serves as president. There, she and her team consult with organizations to develop employees and leadership, as well as overall company culture, through public and private seminars, keynotes and management retreats.  Scumaci is also the author of the books Designed for Success: The 10 Commandments for Women in the Workplace and Ready, Set … Grow!.  To learn more, visit www.dondiscumaci.com.