Find Your SmartPoint

Some days you like your job and some days it’s the last place you want to be. The pros and cons vary from boss to boss, project to project even day -to-day. The complexities of the status quo can motivate you to stay in jobs, or leave companies – even change careers entirely.

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The challenge is – how to you weight the factors in a rational way to give yourself a sustainable degree of overall fulfillment? As an example, are you over emphasizing the drain of a long commute and minimizing the charge the client-facing work generates for you? For some the daily commute is a prime factor. For others it’s a much needed time to transition from work to home reinforced by using an alternative route that may take longer but offers more breathing space.

As your career matures – and you do as well –you may no longer be willing to make the kind of tradeoffs you once did. It may be time to set new boundaries and priorities.

Finding your Career SmartPoint can be a fragile process. You want to preserve what’s working, but still make some fundamental changes. This can include reducing your work week, working from home, rededicating yourself to a second career certification, degree or small business endeavor. It can mean stepping off the management ladder and reporting to a new (and younger boss) as a front-line specialist and leaving the senior-level cares behind. Try negotiating with your management team to recraft your current job over time in order to get more of what you want, and less of what you don’t want. Or would a smaller firm where you can be more versatile put the challenge back into your day? A start-up? A not-for-profit?

It’s perfectly valid to consider non-work priorities too. Imagine taking your foot off the gas pedal by working 4 days a week. Think about freeing up time for children and parents, volunteer work, self-development, overlooked interests and pursuits. Time for yourself!

These kinds of decisions come through careful planning taking into account finances, family needs and long term goals, but they can be done. Self-assessment, psychometric testing, strategic planning, professional advice and in-depth conversations with peers and mentors can all be helpful in putting the puzzle together.

Finding tradeoffs in your workstyle means creating a Career SmartPoint that reflects who you are now and who you plan to become.

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