Do you know someone who is always changing jobs? Someone who is constantly packing up and heading where the grass is greener, but in short order it seems their grass ends up the same color brown no matter where they go? They hop from job to job with the same problems and complaints ranging from their boss and coworkers to expectations and hours worked. Something is never fair and it is never their fault.
You get the idea.
Maybe this person is even you?
Let’s take a look at what is going on here. It’s probably not entirely the job or company that is the big, bad guy. The problem usually lies largely within the person and their lack of ownership and knowledge about who they really are, what they really want, and what would really make them happy, or even excited, to go to work everyday.
I offer a suggestion, before changing jobs again or even starting the search process, give yourself the gift of introspection and responsibility for your professional happiness. Instead of looking out and listing the many things others need to do to satisfy you for the long-term in a position, first look in. Take inventory of yourself as a whole person, not just who you are at the office or the sum of the skills that land on your resume. What are your dreams, desires, goals, values, and beliefs – in other words, your personal vision?
These questions usually aren’t easily answered if looked at honestly and comprehensively. They take some genuine thought and time to work out. This should involve putting pen to paper and not just a quick mental exercise. (Please refer to See Your Future, Be Your Future post) Once you do the work, and put a plan in action, you will be greatly rewarded.
When you do start searching for a new job, ask yourself if it will align with your personal vision in a way that lends itself to you putting your head down and giving it an honest try for the next three years. Avoid going to new company to do same work and expecting different results if the work itself isn’t of great interest to you. Perhaps after you complete your personal vision you will find you don’t need to find a new company, but rather a new position within the same company. For example, if you don’t value developing other people, perhaps instead of being a sales manager, you need to be a rock star sales person. Approach your employer with your idea as it is generally in their favor to keep an existing employee by repositioning them.
Do your values align?
When considering a job offer, be honest with yourself about what you are accepting. Make sure you are taking a step in sync with your vision and not jumping into the sea and hoping for a life raft. Ask the potential employer a lot of questions so you are sure as possible that the job you are accepting is the job you think it is and not just what you want it to be. Maybe you need to stick it out a bit longer in your current position to financially able to take a step into something that will be more fulfilling in the long run.
Gain insight to make better decisions
Armed with knowledge of your vision, values and beliefs, you can begin to see what color the grass really is at your current job and more easily be able to predict what will happen at a new job after the honeymoon phase is over. After all, wouldn’t you rather settle in and reclaim some of the amazing amount of time it takes to find a new job?
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