Knowing which job or path to take is a tricky business. Mainly because we either get lost in the hype of the interview process and think everything will be amazing or simply because we just don’t know what the future holds and it’s a leap of faith for all involved.
I picked up some good advice recently which I wanted to share. Visualise what your role will look like at the 18 month mark. Discuss with your future boss / leader what they expect you to be doing by that stage. Why is the 18 month mark so important? Like any relationship, it’s when you start to realise if this thing is going to last the distance!
I’ve taken most of my jobs over the past 10 years on very short sighted here and now thoughts. I’ve been fixed on trying to solve a short-term financial or emotional issue. I’ve been lucky that by the most part the roles have worked out (2 major stints 8 years in total at 2 companies). However there have also been a couple of very short ones too.
I will cut to the chase. If you look ahead to the point where the current role or objective you’re being employed for is fulfilled or that point where it becomes tedious because you’ve mastered the craft, and there isn’t an obvious learning curve to keep you stimulated, then you need to question if the decision to join has longevity.
Far too many people are short-term thinkers, far too many don’t look for the growth, learning and purpose in the role and company as a guide to career satisfaction. If you’re just starting out and have a decision to make on the next role, look ahead to the 18 month mark and ask yourself…what will I be doing? What will be my challenge? What will keep me motivated for another 18 months? Be tough on yourself, remove the hysteria from getting the job and be very objective (you may need someone else at this point to bounce off).
Once you’ve done this exercise and see no obvious path then you may need to re-think and look for another job!