According to Chinese Horoscopes, 2018 is the Year of the Dog and it is about taking “ACTION” Today, I am encouraging you to take ACTION in your career.

After 10 solid years of recession, Ireland is almost at full employment once again. Economic growth is set to remain stable at 3.6% in 2018 and unemployment is also expected to drop to 3.1%

So, what does this news mean for you, the employee? For the first time in years employees have bargaining power!

You the Employee….

You have been working with your employer for many years. You have ridden out the storm. You are a loyal, hard-working, results-driven employee who is a genuinely nice person to have around! While you really like your employer and ideally want to stay where you are, you are looking for some change in the form of one of the following:

  • A promotion and/or new opportunities for advancement in your company
  • More flexibility i.e. part-time work or an option to work from home one or two days per week.
  • You want to learn again – you have been treading water for a few years and have a desire for new skills and/or development
  • You have been on the same basic salary for many years and would like a salary review
  • You have ideas that could make the business run more effectively and profitably but you do not have the platform to introduce them

However, word of caution – with great power comes great responsibility….

  •  Get yourself a trust worthy mentor in the business – someone that you can trust to talk to openly, who understands the business and where there might be push back
  • Make sure you come up with a good business case for your suggestions. If there is an investment involved, what could this mean for the business in terms of financial returns.
  • Research the market and see what your equivalent skills set is being paid. How much it would cost to replace you?
  • Organise a time to speak with your boss and/or HR re business improvement initiatives – don’t go in with a problem – go in with a solution.
  • If people are being recruited externally, make sure it is known by your manager that you are interested in being considered for that role and why you feel is would suit you – don’t make assumptions!
  • Continue to be that person that your company cannot afford to lose!

But keep it real…

If you are working for a smaller company where margins are typically low, be realistic, try to gain a sense of the business’ commercial reality. Despite the fast-growing economy, not every business will be able to take on further expense. If this is the case, smell the coffee!

There are plenty of jobs out there across all professions – it is probably time to dust off that cv and start your search in earnest.