Look back on 2017. How many times did you think to yourself, "If only I work a little harder, my boss will recognize my value. Next year, I will get a decent raise and a promotion. I'm really not happy, but I have no other choice"?
If you had these thoughts or similar ones, then 2018 is your year. Let's face the facts. Your boss may recognize your value, or they may continue to take advantage of your hard work. You may get a decent raise, or you may get a scanty 2 percent (or less). What happens this year for your career depends on you.
Continuing to go to work each day to earn a stable income is a great first choice. Beginning to look for a new job before you're ready to run from your current job is another great choice.
If possible, hang onto your existing job while you go looking for a replacement. This will take the pressure off of your search and give you time to look for the right fit. You don't want to trade one bad job for another!
One of the great things about landing a new job is that your new boss will pick you. What I mean is, your new boss is hiring you because they see your value. When you've been with the same company for a long period of time, your boss may not realize your true worth. Maybe that's because the boss who hired you has since been replaced by a new boss, or maybe your boss has simply begun to take you for granted. Whatever the case, there's a good chance your supervisor doesn't give you the recognition or rewards you deserve.
And let's be honest: Companies are more motivated to offer large sums of money to new hires than they are to existing employees. Bosses rarely want to pay you more to do the same work you've already been doing for less.
I get it. The entire thing is a bummer. Interviewing is stressful and full of rejection. Moving to a new company is a risk. It could be better or worse than where you are now. But if where you are now isn't working for you, then the risk is worth it.
Once you decide what's best for you, create a plan of attack for 2018. Write down your goals to make them real. Work on these goals each and every day.
When it comes to your career, change is a slow process, but with time and effort, you can make it happen. If you want to have a happier life, working for someone who appreciates you and making even more money, then take 2018 as your year.
A version of this article originally appeared in the Memphis Daily News.
Angela Copeland is a career coach and CEO at her firm, Copeland Coaching.