As part of my planning for next year, I am starting to put a hard cap on how long I want to stay where I currently am - not so much from a "I need to get out" thought (although I do) as much as from a "I have a list of things to accomplish here before I go here" thought. They are not projects that need to be finished so much as they are things in me that need to be corrected such that when I move to the next job I am not dragging along old bad habits:
1) Leadership: I need to practice acting more like an actual leader - and not the sort of image that my work (and much of industry) seems to value. I know the picture I have in mind. I just need to implement it.
2) Proactivity: I need to practice and implement proactivity in my work - not waiting for things to happen but making them happen whether or not there is a direct benefit or reward tied to them.
3) Execution: I need to gain skill at executing on plans once made and seeing them through to their conclusion.
4) Courage: I need to find my courage, especially in standing up to people (Bullies? Can we use the word bullies?) who do not particularly care to hear bad news or seek to have attention paid to their "needs" right away.
5) Improvement: I need to become better at improving things - systems, processes - in such a way that they save time or money (or both).
Arguably none of these are earth shattering discoveries for those who know me. Certain they are all (in one way or form) reflected in my own personal life, which would benefit from fixing these problems as well. But the fact remains that these are themes in my work life, themes that I have dragging around with me for years, never dealing with theme but bringing them along with me as I traveled from job to job (and career to career, in some cases).
I want the next position I take to be a good one. I want it to be a step up in terms of responsibility, title, and salary. But in order to get there I will need to ensure that the person who gets that job is not the same person that is currently in this one.