Audit Your Job

When is the last time you audited your job?

A year ago? When you were first hired? Maybe it’s time to audit it and see if it still works for you. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught in the minutia and forget what your real job is and how much you enjoy it. Sometimes, though, you fall into career coma and don’t see the writing on the wall.

Begin by writing down the reasons the job appealed to you and why you applied for it. Are those reasons still applicable? If yes, then the job is most likely still a good fit. Are you spending most of your time working in those areas? You should be, although it’s all too easy to get caught up in the busy and unimportant aspects of a job. If you find yourself doing that, take time at the start of each week and write down one to three areas on which you should focus for the week. Those three things should be your priority throughout the week, and it’s where you should spend most of your time.

Now make a list of all the benefits of the job. Don’t limit it to insurance and vacation. It should be everything about the job that you enjoy and would want to have in a future job. For example, in my current role I occasionally get to travel. When I accepted the job that wasn’t on my list of requirements, but now the travel is something I greatly appreciate. I get to see the work firsthand and I get to go to some amazing places that I probably would not have otherwise. Another perk for me is being exposed to so many cultures and ideas. Most of my jobs have allowed for learning of some sort outside of learning how to do the job. As a newspaper reporter, I learned a little about a lot of subjects. I always enjoyed the initial research to prep for an interview.

Once you have the benefits, the next step is to think about what you don’t like. If the list is too long, you may have a problem. Whatever is on the list, though, consider each item and seek to minimize the negativity. As a creative person, I get frustrated with the budget and bill paying process. One way I minimize that impact is to set aside a specific amount of time each week to handle. The other days I don’t even have to think about it. And at the end of the week, the bills are paid and I’ve ensured I’m still within budget.

Finally, think about the next position you would like to have. That position could exist within your company or elsewhere. What are you doing to make it happen? It might mean serving on a committee at work to show that you have project management skills or leadership potential.  You may need some training. Or you may have the skills and your current employer doesn’t have an opportunity for you.

Once you have audited your job, ask yourself some questions. Is it the right fit? Is it time to learn new skills? Is it time to move on? The next step is yours.