Don't Forget to Revisit Your Job Search Goals
The heady first days and months of a new job can be intoxicating. Steady paycheck, health insurance (hopefully!), camaraderie, and the sense that you are part of a greater mission. Honeymoon periods are awesome, aren't they? But now that you've got a little time under your belt, are things measuring up as you thought they would?
January is a great time to take a step back and think about your original goals when you were on the job hunt. Are you where you think you should be? Or, at the very least, feel like you're on your way? Here are three key things you might want to think about.
Are you learning what you wanted to learn? When you start a job you are ready to hit the ground running. You want to soak up ideas, discover new ways of doing things, and, in general, feel like your learning curve is on an infinitely expanding upward slope. It's no secret this level of exposure to newness and absorption makes us feel an exquisite sense of flow. And time really flies. The first few weeks on the job can be just like this, but somewhere around months three to six, we might feel like time is starting to slow down a bit and our learning curve is starting to flat line.
If you are experiencing this, don't panic. Ask yourself where you think the learning lags are happening. Realistically, there will be a tapering off of that full-throttle learning euphoria. However, if you feel that it's dropped off more than you are comfortable with, it's important to speak with your boss. To make this a truly constructive conversation, take some time to identify areas that you truly want to learn more about. The more specific you are, the more focused and engaged you will seem, which is a much better scenario than simply expressing your unhappiness.
Do you feel like you have support? In the best of all possible worlds, when you start a new job, there will be a person who takes you under their wing, and acts as a resource, sounding board, and confidant. However, cultivating a mentor/mentee relationship takes time and is not often forged in the first year of a job. Perhaps a better thing to focus on is if you feel that there are people who are helpful and that you can approach. Different people can offer you a variety of insights and opportunities for learning and guidance. Bottom line: do you feel like your company fosters this kind of supportive energy?
Do you feel like you are on the right career path? Yes, we know you have grand plans for your future – and so you should! But, it's very important to think critically about how you intend get from point A to B. Sometimes we get so caught up in the day to day hustle that we forget to make a plan. Is your department the right fit or do you want to make a switch? Does your current path play to your strengths? Even if it's your first year on the job, it's important to be a keen observer of what those in positions above you do on a daily basis and if that path appeals to you. Your opportunities could be endless, but first things first – get on a path that feels right.