Does your current job seem to be dead-ending? Have you reached the top of the ladder you were on? Is your niche heading the way of the buggy whip biz? Or maybe you just want to, in the words of Monty Python, “Run Away!”
But then what? You need to find something to run towards. If you have a job – you most likely want to keep it as the source of income and benefits for as long as you can – but it’s hard to pay good attention to what’s next, when the now is calling on all your resources. Still, you’re going to have to figure out how to make time for the research and the connections and the re-education, whatever it takes to find out where you will be headed next.
If your current situation is still good, can you use your work as an opportunity to prep for your next stage? You have a new agenda now. You could amp up your network of contacts at your client and with friendly vendors. You can frame your projects so that when they’re in your portfolio they will make you a stronger, more relevant candidate for the next opportunity. For example if you are missing digital, then do some digital; if you are missing tech experience or data-driven projects. then do what you can to get some under your belt. Try and get management to pay for some training. This all requires a new focus on the horizon – your horizon – and not just on getting through the week.
You are now working on two fronts. You will be doing the old job and you will also be doing the prep work for your next one.
Let’s face it, this is always the way it should be. You should always be thinking about what is next. Whether you own a business and are thinking about how to get the next project or the next client, or whether you are working on your own next steps. It’s the same thing. If you get too deep into the current project – unless it is world-shattering – then you will wish when it ended that you had devoted just a bit more time to what was to follow it.
Of course as well as these approaches within the context of your current gig. you will also be spending nights and weekends to do more of the things you need to keep your exploration moving forward. But don’t assume that because you have to do your current day job that all is lost – there will surely be some things you can incorporate to build the foundation for what is next.