Everyone I know wants to grow in their career.  Whether that means advancing to the next level, gaining a new skill or simply learning something new, it is a universal need.  Even those happy in their current job still want to learn something or do something different every now and then.  In our current economy I am seeing an interesting trend; clients asking how can they make their current job more interesting?  How do I make my current job my growth opportunity?

Here are 5 steps I have worked with clients and have found to be helpful:

Step 1: Banish the idea that your next job has to be one that is currently on the org chart.  A lot of people look around at their organization and assess their perfect job doesn’t exist because they don’t see it currently mapped out and feel they have no choice but to move.  You may have more insight into what the organization needs by being on the frontline and can create and pitch a new job (or your current job enhanced)

Step 2: Research and know the organizational goals, the leadership team’s goals and the goals of your current manager.  Until you know this, you can’t make a case for how your new job supports these goals.

Step 3: Know what you want to do.  Spend some time understanding what you are good at and what your vision is for your career.  Think about what you need on your resume in order to reach your career vision – get really clear on the skill or experience you need right now in order to get there.

Step 4: Write a job description that marries the organization’s goals and your personal development needs.  You need to show how this new job helps reach the organization’s goals and allows you to grow professionally in your role.

Step 5: Develop a presentation on your proposed job enhancements and present it to your manager. Set aside time with your manager to go through your thinking on the organization’s needs and how you can help get there.  Most clients who do this not only showcase their ability to have vision and leadership but also demonstrate great initiative.

Some people come out of these meetings with budget and headcount for their ideas while others simply get a more interesting job description.   Whatever your desired outcome, pitching your perfect next job is a great alternative to job hunting.