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For many people, today will have been the first day back at work after the Christmas break. Maybe it wasn’t the most productive day, as an avalanche of emails and catching up with colleagues take out large swathes of time. Most of us get back on track pretty quickly. For some however, waking up with that sinking feeling isn’t going away anytime soon. Maybe 2010 is the year that you’ll make a career move.

January usually ushers in a turning point career-wise. If you’ve been putting up with a job that really isn’t your bag, then a brand-new, shiny year feels like a good opportunity to make some changes. However, in the current economic climate, it can feel risky to wave goodbye to a (relatively) secure salary. Maybe it’s time to ask yourself some questions:

  • does my current role chime with my deeply held values?
  • does the job play to my strengths?
  • is my contribution valued and recognised?
  • is there a burning desire to do something more creative, but I’m scared?

If the answers reveal a deep-seated dissatisfaction with the status quo, then it could be time to do some homework. Serious homework. There may be a way to make a sideways move within your organisation. Or, if things really aren’t working out, then a new job, a plan to make a career shift to a new field or become your own boss might be options.

The trick is to think it through and take a reflective step back in order to make a better move forward. Sometimes it helps to have a supportive friend or coach to provide feedback to you on your particular strengths. The things we are good at often come so easily to us that we tend to overlook them.

If the job you’re doing no longer fits in with the wider context of your life as a whole, then start looking and listening out for the next small step you can take to move you towards your goal.

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