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The cost of progression

I’ve followed with interest the progression of Joey Carbery since he first emerged as a player of great potential in a pre season friendly in Donnybrook in 2016. A few months later he would help close out a first ever Irish win over the All Blacks in Chicago and the Athy man suddenly became a house hold name in rugby circles.

He has found himself in the media spotlight again these past few weeks as decisions about his future became part of a wider discussion on the utilisation of rugby talent on the Island of Ireland.

I found it interesting how public the conversation has been, with his team mates being questioned regularly in post match interviews and pictures of the player and national coach meeting for coffee surfacing on social media fuelling further speculation. It’s a far cry from the world of recruitment that I live in, where secrecy is sacrosanct and privacy always a concern.

The external pressure on Joey Carbery appears to have been significant in and of itself. The speculation is that for him to continue to deputise in the green of Ireland he needs to be a regular starter in the out half position which was proving elusive at Leinster. The question remains however, why would a player want to leave his home club after a season that saw major silverware?

The answer is that the player probably didn’t want to leave and certainly the protracted nature of the discussion suggests some reluctance on his part.  That reluctance is normal, we all feel it when considering a job change, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good idea to move jobs, it simply encourages us to be considerate about it. Many people I meet are happy in their jobs, they have few if any push factors and are satisfied with the relationship they have with their employer.

Many of these individuals however still opt to move jobs though. Why?

A lack of career options, progression or professional development are consistently in the top few reasons why people seek a change, but for others the ability to spot a stagnating career can often take years of wasted time to identify.

There are many ways to spot a career that has hit the breaks and we’ve picked 4 that we see time and again with the job seekers we assist:

Stuck in traffic

When the structure of an organisation or team that you are part of leads to a considerable number of bodies ahead of you in the pecking order then sometimes even a lateral move can result in a career leap. Never in my wildest dreams playing snakes and ladders as a child did I think those lessons would shape my thinking on career progression, but while some job moves don’t result in immediate progression, if you get into a faster lane the medium term will deliver the advancement you seek.

Client access

It’s a common theme that access to clients and the ability to build relationships is key to taking ownership of your career and serves as a platform for you to leverage off within an organisational structure. Being denied this through a lack of progression can be damaging to your career. Often taking a role that allows gives greater access to customers or stakeholders is worth the move in and of itself.

Absence of evolution

If after a period of time in a role your responsibilities have become set in stone and unchanged, it’s often time to start considering a move. When you’ve reached a point in your career where you are no longer learning anything and have not done so in a while, your career is no longer moving forward and when this happens it is effectively moving backwards.

Sector and market

Sometimes doing a similar role in a different sector, market or industry can open new avenues for progression and greater career options moving forward. A good recent example is the data privacy market where a cursory glance over linkedIn will showcase how well certain professionals have done at leveraging their knowledge of privacy laws in new and growing sectors.

All job moves involve a degree of risk. If Joey Carbery is looking back at these few weeks in October 2019 with a World Cup medal around his neck then the decision in hindsight may seem insignificant. If you are worried about the direction your career is taking, or the speed it is taking to realise your goals then consider a move as one of the available options to remedy that concern.

Remember, applying to a job or taking an interview does not equate to accepting an offer. When moving for career purposes view any process you take part in as an information gathering exercise first an foremost with the prospect of a job change removed from your thinking until you have enough insight to make an informed decision.

Written by Robert Connolly, Director Legal & Compliance

For jobs resources and blogs for Solicitors visit legal jobs Ireland.