November 13, 2012, 9:02 AM —
I’m a business analyst and have been working on my company’s order entry systems for the last five years. I like my job, I like the people, I like the company and I even like the system, but I feel trapped and want to make a change. What should I do?
This is a situation that can happen to people in all professions. You are very good at what you do and do it for a long time. Then, after a few years, everyone starts thinking about you as singularly dimensional and expects that you will want to do that job forever. For some people this scenario is great, because they love what that are doing and want to do it forever. For others, however, like you, who want to move to do other things, it can be difficult to break the personal stereotype you have created.
Because you said you like the company and the people, I’m going to make the assumption that you would like to continue working within the same organization, but just do something different. You need a vision of what you would like to do and then a plan on how to get there.
Regarding a vision of the future, you must first do some soul searching and decide what you would like to do. Without this first step, it’s virtually impossible to devise a plan that will get you where you want to go because you don’t know your desired destination. Note that this doesn’t have to be a twenty year vision, even though that would be advantageous, it could simply be what you want to do next.
Once you defined your vision, it’s time to formulate a plan that will help you reinvest yourself in a way that can help you make the change. In essence, you need to assess your skills, abilities, and interests so you can reformulate them in a way that will allow you to move toward your stated professional vision. Remember, you must not only reinvent yourself in your eyes, this “reinvented you” must also be seen by your boss, and others at the company that can help you move internally to a new job.
To that end, consider the following questions from the perspective of how they can help you reposition yourself toward your short-term and/or long term professional goal: