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Career Quandary? Try Clamming-Up.

Before you start to look for a new position, take a step back and think deeply about what is really important to you and your family. Have a meeting with the key stakeholders and discuss what the ideal work/life balance would look like. Be reasonable, or your plan to achieve that goal will be nothing more than a pipedream.

Here’s a great way to start the conversation; CLAMS. To help you get started, here are five topics to consider:

C – Challenge. Will you be happy in a position that offers very little challenge – What does that mean to your self-esteem, personal growth and motivation for going to work each day?

L – Location. Is relocation possible? Would a new position enable you to live in a place you always wanted to live? If you are not moving, how far and under what circumstances are you willing to commute?

A – Advancement. Do you need to be in a company where you can grow your career? Do you aspire to be a GM or CEO some day, or does moving up the corporate ladder leave you unimpressed? What level position do you find interesting and satisfying?

M – Money. There is a range that goes from needs to wants. Identify what you need to pay bills and feed your family. Be realistic about wants, as we all want “the most we can make.” Generally, it would be prudent to bracket your current or most recent salary with needs on one end and wants on the other. Do consider a lateral move if it will provide the Challenge, Location, Advancement or Security that you desire.

S – Security. This is a tough one. It’s very elusive. Be honest. No job is secure.  Security is very difficult to determine, and even positions once considered very secure, such as teaching and public service, are affected by post-recession economics. 

Even if you can’t prioritize all the CLAMS, you should be able to identify a few that rise to the top of the list. Using that information, you can begin to formulate the kind of opportunities you would like to pursue. The next step becomes researching where to look for those companies. Stay tuned for more on that topic.

Rose Mattran

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