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Always look before you leap

Question :

I am a project manager. After a recent reshuffle, the middle level of management at my firm has become rather non-existent. There’ll be no prospects if I stay and it’s depressing enough that most of my colleagues were either made to go or are planning to leave. I really don’t know what to do. Any advice?

Posted by KC on Saturday, 16 Aug 2014

Comments :

Thanks for your question KC. From your summary it seems there has been a company reorganisation, which has left you feeling there are fewer internal opportunities for you than before. 

Although your future looks uncertain now, you can take positive steps to improve your situation. Take stock of your career by answering the following three simple questions: where are you now; where are you trying to go; and how will you get there?

In answering the first question, analyse your strengths and weaknesses, plus your preferences and dislikes not only for the work you are doing, but also your working environment. This helps you establish a starting point from which to crystallise your career goals. 

You then have to work out a way of getting from where you are now in an unhappy situation to where you want to go in your career.

You obviously want to be in a better place, but can you quantify what it looks like? This will involve either gaining more responsibility in your current organisation or an external move.

I would always recommend that in this situation you first try to have a calm, honest and open conversation with your employer to find out where you stand and whether your skills and experience are valued.

Establish some clarity around your future, which will then enable you to make a more informed and confident decision abut your likely course of action. 

As a project manager one would expect your employer to embrace your skills to help them manage through what sounds like a challenging and turbulent situation. However if there isn’t a positive commitment to your progress, then you may have to seek another job in another company. 

You could do this almost immediately or wait and use the time to gain additional project-management or business qualifications that may make you more marketable.

Once you decide to move you need to produce a resume and online profile and take the steps to embark on your job search. Good luck with your process. 


Paul Lyons, managing director of Ambition Hong Kong, is an experienced careers and recruitment expert, and the author of five books on successful job searching, personal branding and career management


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