By Liam Horan, Managing Director, Sli Nua Careers
Q: I recently read an article on line called ‘Ten tough but valuable lessons you should learn before you are 30’. In my case, the next time I see 30 will be on a front door. I’m 42, and have had my career and business ups and downs. Would you be able to give ‘ten tough but valuable lessons you should learn between 40 and 50.’ (ST, email.).
A: We put this question to three of our, ahem, more mature career coaches, LR, and hope that you find their observations useful.
MARK MCDONALD, DUBLIN NORTH: ST, that’s a great question. I had a boss in my previous career who kept repeating the same mantra every time we were battling a difficult situation within a high-volume manufacturing environment: “life is tough.” I’ve often recalled this during times of professional difficulty – when maybe feeling a bit sorry for myself. We all face challenges, make mistakes, learn lessons, dust ourselves off and keep going. One tough but valuable lesson I would encourage people to think about could be described as “the grass being greener on the other side”.
I’ll explain this in more detail.
We look at a new job, either a promotion or an opportunity in a new organisation. It looks great: more money, fresh challenge, and a chance to enhance our career and gain new experiences. What could possibly go wrong? Sadly for some, the change or move may result in ending up in a new role which isn’t what they thought it to be and they suddenly find ourselves unhappy, frustrated and regretting the move.
It’s possible to avoid this if you carefully consider all variables associated with the new opportunity. Remember the three Rs, research, research and research.
Don’t rush in without first making sure that the scope of the role will suit your career ambition and personal ability.
Can you work with this boss? Can you work in this organisation? Will you be a good fit for the team?
Is the location/commute likely to cause a problem? Do you know the market? Will the culture suit?
Will the organisation exist in ten years time? Difficult to predict but maybe some research could point to this.
We should all exercise caution when making a move and try to remember that although the grass may seem greener on the other side, the garden still needs to be maintained.
FINTAN DUNNE, SLIGO: ST, One of the most important career lessons I learnt between 40 and 50, is that when you personally resolve a major issue that is impacting on company management and administration for your superiors, you ensure how you resolved the problem is adequately reflected in your personal file.
A clap on the back or ‘well done’ is not enough. A fully documented report placed on your file by your senior manager, and approved by you, will ensure your resolution of the issue is reflected in your career enhancement.
LIAM HORAN, BALLINROBE: When you’re younger, ST, there can be a tendency to rush in – as you scale the age ladder; you learn the value of standing back to weigh things up first. The danger, of course, is that you start to stand back too much, but if you get the balance right between contemplation and action, it can be a very creative and potent time in your career. Use it well.
If you would like to make a booking with any of our career coaches mentioned above, see HERE for CV Preparation and Interview Training.