A lot of focus of late has been spent on looking at how generational differences can be best understood to ensure that organisations are able to retain and engage different generations as both employees and consumers. But there are some experiences that are not limited to a particular generation.
A career energy surge refers to the sudden or accumulated energy that arises when an individual wants to make a change in their job or career.
This energy – our ‘get-up-and-go’ is wholly positive in that it gives a renewed lease of energy, enthusiasm and engagement. It can happen at any point in your life and is nothing to do with your generation, age, or how long you have been working for.
We are still evolving…
We all start a journey from the age of 18 as we progress into responsible adults, with jobs or careers, responsibilities, relationships and partnerships with others. Different experiences will change and shape our outlook on life. Indeed research has shown that our brains continue to develop until we are well into our 30s and 40s. So it stands to reason, that our notion of what’s important – particularly when it comes to our careers, will never be set in stone.
In 2015 Able Skills carried out a survey on 2,000 employees in the UK and found that 70% said they feel trapped in their current role. It’s safe to assume that at some point many individuals will experience a career energy surge at least once in their life time.
What causes this energy surge?
A number of reasons or situations can give rise to a career energy surge. Reflecting on my own experiences, these can include:
- Motivation to try something different which stems from a dissatisfaction with the present
- Unresolved issues from the past e.g. a drive to realise a career ambition that they have previously shelved
- Excitement about a new opportunity and the ability to learn new skills and acquire knowledge
- A realisation that you are not happy and are merely ‘going through the motions’
- A sudden life change which forces you to reevaluate your life and career
- Reluctance to accept the status quo and more increased determination to seek a role/company that matches their values and ambitions
- Recognition that there is no such thing as a job for life therefore it is ok to put yourself first rather than wait for organisations to determine your career path
So what happens now?
If you find yourself experiencing a career energy surge, here are some questions to think about:
- When I am at my best, what am I doing?
- What is my purpose and does my current role allow me to fulfil that?
- If I had my time again, what I still take the career path I have taken?
- What do I love to do that I have neglected over the years?
- How can I combine something I’m interested in with making a living?
Human Resources and enabling people to be the best of themselves at work, connecting meaning and purpose with the objectives of a company is what I live for. But I have a renewed sense of clarity about the type of HR I want practice. This clarity came from my own career energy surge.
Many people who have seem to have suddenly quit their jobs to go it alone, decide to work in a completely different different industry or go back to education may have experienced their own career energy surge.
It was their time to live life on their own terms (see my blog post ‘Live life on your own terms’)
Are you ready?
Managing this transition is not about reinventing yourself, instead it’s about evolution.
A career change will mostly happen within your comfort zone, i.e. where you natural talents and skills lie but equally don’t allow yourself to be constrained by the thoughts of others or your own limiting self-beliefs.
If you work for an enlightened organisation that has a strong reputation for positively connecting individual purpose with company goals, then you are a lucky person. Use your senior managers and HR colleagues to your full advantage.
It is called a career life energy surge for a reason – it is to propel you to the next level of your career achievements.
The question is, when it happens to you, are you ready to do something about it?