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New Year, New Job?

Is 2016 the year you finally break out of your current job and tackle the idea of finding a new one? Are you in the best workplace for your talent? Did you settle for the first job out of college, never challenging yourself to find a better environment? Have you been “downsized” with the layoffs that are happening in this area’s shipyards?

All these questions are important whether you are considering a job change or a career change. The answers to these questions are the basis for the process you will go through in deciding what to do next. When you take the time to answer them, you may be surprised to discover what you really want. Your age and your lifestyle will also play a big part, as will whether you are just starting out or looking to retire in the next few years.

Things to consider if you are looking for a new job: Do you know someone in your field who can tell you which employers are hiring? Do you need to hire a headhunter to find you the job you really want? Can you do the job search yourself on one of the many job search sites, or do you need to start with a new resume and send it out all over town? These questions may seem daunting at first, but if you do not examine where you really are in your work life, you may settle for the first offer and find yourself in the same place one to three years down the road — not a good place to be. We spend too much time at work to take lightly where we work and what we do to earn a paycheck.

Do you need a degree to further your career? Is there time to go to college and work too? “Yes” may be the answer to both these questions. With online classes at nearly all colleges and universities, it is now easier than ever to earn a degree. Maybe you did not have time when you began working at your current or previous job. Financial aid is available for many people, and it can allow you to finance your education. Earning a degree may make you a better candidate for a new position. If you need to start or finish your degree for a new job or a new career, the path can be smoother if you meet with someone at any of the local colleges. You will then know what you need to do to make it happen. Remember, not deciding to do anything is a decision in itself. In your work life or your personal life, making no decision is not an option if you want to succeed.

It is not news to anyone reading this that the shipyard business does ebb and flow over the years. With the recent round of layoffs, the sting of being out of a regular-paying job stresses some people so badly they cannot find the courage to start the process. But you must find that courage and take on the challenge of improving your work life. Examine your resume; if necessary, find someone who can update it for you and make it relevant for a new position. Do you have interpersonal skills, problem-solving capabilities, or the ability to write well? Do you know how to conduct research or analyze data? Are you a leader or a follower? These are a lot of questions, I know, but to “sharpen the saw” as Steven Covey says, you need to examine your core work strengths and figure out where to use what you have already learned.

While technology has played a big part in working and getting things done on a large scale, people skills such as conversation-making, writing, and phone etiquette are still important when it comes to finding a job. You may be a person who thrives in a small office, where your skills are more easily recognized and you can shine on a day-to-day basis. If the large corner office is your dream, make sure you can live with the view from up there without having to sell your soul to achieve it.

A book that might help with some of these challenges is titled What Color is Your Parachute? The author updates this book every few years, and in it you will find exercises to help you examine the questions asked in this column. It may help you find a new position that will take you where you want to go in life and in work. If you are the major breadwinner in your family, you must read this book. It will make you think outside the box, and maybe that is just what you need at this time. Any book by Tony Robbins will motivate you to do something new and different. Only you can decide how much effort you are willing to put into finding a new job. If you are looking for a new career, then there is a completely different set of questions and answers to be considered. Which one is it for you? YOU DECIDE!!

About the Author

Carol Bronson has been employed at Allied Research Technology, Inc. since November 2011. She was initially the Finance Manager, responsible for paying the bills and the payroll. Her responsibilities have increased over the years and now include human resources, workers’ compensation claims, unemployment paperwork and new employee interviews. She finds that her psychology degree has come in handy when employees come to her for personal issues. 

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