– Career Management Portal –

Common Career Challenges

  • I like my job and I don’t really want to go into a higher position, but I’m getting bored.

    A great way for you to stay motivated and re-kindle your interest is to look for projects outside of your usual day to day job. Talk with your supervisor about what opportunities there might be in your workplace. Volunteer for ‘stretch assignments’ – projects that take you out of your comfort zone. Consider a secondment or short term lateral transfer. Take some time to reflect on the values or drivers in your work – what are you passionate about? You are more likely to sustain your interest if it is something that you are particularly motivated to do.

    Consider what the pay-offs might be. Even if you are not really interested in promotions, it may open your eyes to lateral career moves that you hadn’t considered. It will also no doubt broaden your skills and ultimately keep you engaged in life long learning.

  • I don’t feel in control of my career

    The first step is recognizing that you need to take control back – so you are half way there. Take a step back and really think about the direction you would like your career to take. Reflect on what it is that you really want to do. Arm yourself with knowledge by fully understanding the labour market and know what your options are for development.

    Volunteer for projects before being asked, and be deliberate and purposeful in negotiating development assignments that will give you exposure to different areas. Be confident in discussing your career goals and fold your actions and strategies into your learning plan. If appropriate, develop a business case that will point out the return on investments.

    Set yourself short and long term career and learning goals. Celebrate your achievements and keep your resume updated to show your learning acquisitions.

    Remember – nobody is more interested in your career than you.

  • I want to do something completely different and would like to explore options.

    Invest some time in undertaking broad occupational research. Know about the different types of jobs out there and have a sense of what appeals to you. The APS has over 100 different occupations, some that you may not have ever considered, but the odds are that you will find something to meet your interests.

    Refine and narrow your list down to say 3-5 careers and dig deeper. Start gathering as much information as you can. Suspend your judgment until you have collected everything that you need. Understand the current labour market and job prospects, and be aware of the future trends associated with the occupation. This is especially important if you are going to undertake lengthy study and/or training to get you there.

    Finally, talk with others who are in the field. Think about shadowing someone for a couple of days. What does a day in the life of the job look like? How does that match with your current career aspirations and life situation? Changing careers can be a big decision so it is worth making the time and effort to consider all the issues.

  • I’m ready for the next level up but don’t know how to go about it.

    First of all take a look at the job description for the position you’re interested in. This will outline the types of duties you will be expected to perform and the skills you will need. Be honest with yourself in assessing how you rate against these – it’s like undertaking a gap analysis. Your supervisor may also be able to offer you insights here.

    When you determine what your skill gaps are plan to address them. There are many ways you can do this. Take a look at the learning and development options in this portal. Assessment services can be particularly helpful in providing you with feedback.

    Sometimes the skills you need can only be gained through experience and time on the job. Talk with others about how they went about learning a particular skill.

    Do you have a mentor? This is an ideal topic to discuss with a mentor. They can provide you with advice and work with you to explore opportunities to develop.

  • I’m nearing the end of my career so I don’t really want to learn anything else.

    Have you thought about the legacy you want to leave the organization? What would this look like and what do you want to be remembered for in the workplace? Mentoring others is an excellent way to transfer knowledge and ensure your corporate wisdom is passed on to others.

    Even though you may not aspire to other positions, it is important to continue to keep your mind active and engaged. This is also true for when you leave the workforce. Be involved in different work groups, participate in strategic planning exercises, be creative and innovative in looking for ways to improve, and take an active interest in what’s happening in the workplace.

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Last Review / Update: 2011-07-01

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