Career advice for 2017

Focus on your career to fight the fear

Sometimes we are not in the wrong job but looking at the job wrong

 Leslee O’Loughlin, HR Manager Enterprise Rent-A-Car Ireland


Leslee O’Loughlin, HR Manager Enterprise Rent-A-Car Ireland

Focus on your career to fight the fear

Sometimes we are not in the wrong job but looking at the job wrong

Nice peaceful Christmas? Batteries fully recharged? Refreshed and ready for the New Year? Maybe not! Christmas is supposed to be a relaxing time but as we all know, it’s anything but.

After all that excitement and indulgence, many people naturally take stock at this time of year, resolving to replace bad habits with good ones in the name of self-improvement. No wonder January is a time for big decisions.

For workers too, the New Year reboot can be tough. People return to work after the holidays and realize their careers are exactly where they left them ‘last year’. For anyone not completely satisfied with their job, this can be a daunting, even fearful, prospect. But it doesn’t have to be. You can fight the fear by focusing on your career. 

Here are some tips:

Ask questions

Think about the sort of job you would love to be returning to this time next year.

If you are struggling for motivation, I urge you to go for a walk this lunchtime and ask yourself three questions:

-       What is making me unhappy in my current role? Then list the problems.

-       Are the problems fixable? Sketch out how each one can be addressed.

-       If the problems are not fixable, what’s the plan? Write down your options.

Looking for a new job may well be your best bet. The good news is that Ireland has one of the fastest-moving job markets in the EU, and for savvy employment seekers who have done their homework, there are plenty of options. Giving your CV a thorough spring-cleaning is a good first step.

Communication is key

For many other people, however, it’s not that they are in the wrong job – it’s just that their current job, for one or a number of reasons, is not working out. In most cases, this can be rectified by a little communication and a lot of determination.

Once you’ve identified the obstacles to your job satisfaction and decided which ones can be fixed, it’s time to make a plan. Remember that this doesn’t have to be a secret. It’s in everyone’s interest that you are happy and motivated, so don’t be afraid to talk to your line manager or HR manager about what’s on your mind.

Look at your options within the company. Is there another area of the business you could move to? This is one of the most popular and successful aspects of our Management Training Programme, where graduates are encouraged to move around and develop different skills as they climb the ladder.

They also have the opportunity to specialise if they find an area they particularly like, e.g. marketing or finance. Our trainees are regularly promoted within as little as eight to 12 months, and within 24 months they are often at Assistant Manager level where they receive a percentage of the profits generated by their branch.

Set deadlines

Your plan should be tangible and focused, nothing woolly or vague. Be clear on the specific steps you are going to have to take, and create a timeline to get there. Set deadlines, too. If issues keep dragging on with no resolution in sight, it might be time to dust off that CV after all.

Above all, be committed to what you are doing. This is your life, your happiness at stake. Now is not the time to keep your head down and hope things will get better as the year goes on – you have to make them get better. What are you waiting for?!


Leslee O’Loughlin is Group HR Manager at Enterprise Rent-A-Car Ireland, one of the country’s most prolific graduate recruiters. In 2016, Enterprise was named ‘SME Employer of the Year’ by the GLEN Workplace Equality Index, and ‘Diversity Recruiter of the Year’ by Gradireland.

Leslee has been with Enterprise Holdings for 19 years, nine of which were in her current role in Ireland and 10 in the San Francisco office as Area Manager, Corporate Manger and finally as Talent Acquisition Manager. With a BA in English Literature and beginning her career with Enterprise Holdings as a graduate intern, Leslee is an example of how far you can go in a company that recognizes the talent of all employees and offers opportunities.