Our career provides, for many, the most important contribution towards our lives. You will spend more time interacting with your colleagues than your own family. One of the hardest skills to master is leaving work at the office and not bringing it home with you – and with technology today this is only exponentially increasing year by year.
We will explore how to improve your current circumstances, and when it might be time to change.
Work is the central theme of many of our adult lives; we spend more than 40 hours a week, attempting to be successful in other people’s business.
Not everyone needs to love what they do. But it helps! You can work to acquire, or you can work to be. Sometimes you can do both! Everyone is individual, and every company to most degrees is also individual – and the old adage that the grass is always greener means that we may crave change for changes sake.
Who you work with, for and who works for you are key dynamics in any work environment. As our co founder encountered with his extensive experience within recruitment consultancy, the culture of businesses is not a fallacy, and is driven by a top down mentality of the business – and to some degree by the product or service the business is providing.
If you feel bullied or intimidated in anyway at the office, there is no other advice worth taking other than to face it head on. It is totally unacceptable for anyone in a professional environment to make you feel less than you are and if this is the reason you are pursuing a change, take every step to counter any animosity. You should also feel positive about the next challenge, and learn from the experience in every way possible.
If you’re lacking challenge, feel demotivated by repetition or haven’t progressed as quickly as you feel you should have done, these are all green flags for a move. Take a step back and overview your careerpath – look at it in terms of growth cycles. Write a brand new CV and see if you’ve accomplished as much as you would have liked, and ask yourself tough questions
Am I too Comfortable?
Why do I feel bored/demotivated/unchallenged?
Can I fix this myself or do I need to leave?If you have a mentor, include them in this conversation.
Don’t feel stuck, embrace the opportunity for change and in the meantime lets see if we can improve the current situation anyway.
Are there ways of making going into work more appealing every day?
When you’re in a job you don’t like, the situation can be frustrating — why am I trapped in that mess/somebody else’s mess? The bottleneck is sitting in another department, I can’t do anything to fix it. I don’t have the systems I need to complete my work adequately. We haven’t invested in the right tools.
Instead of focusing on the current situation’s disappointment, what can really be done to fix it?
Reflect on a tough past situation — one you have been able to overcome despite a lot of difficulty and adversity. These were undoubtedly difficult conditions and at that moment seemed insurmountable— but now that they are in the past, you can flashback and see how it finally developed into something positive, and how it lead up to a better career, improved processes or just getting things done right in the end and moving on.
Easier said than done, take a fresh look at your options.
Do you need to have an overdue 1-1 with the difficult internal stakeholder in accounts?
Is the process broken? Is it fit for purpose – have volumes or logistics changed and are we doing something just because “it’s always been done that way”?
Do you need to have a hard conversation with a colleague who isn’t pulling their weight?
As humans, the tendancy to avoid conflict is a strong one as you can be percieved to be the “difficult one” in the company, however you will find on balance you will gain respect from pushing back against inefficiency, and will stand out in the process.
Money, Money, Money
Money is obviously a significant factor to consider when you are thinking about switching jobs. Does this truly compensate you for how you feel at the end of the day/ week/year? Does it allow you to do everything you want to in your spare time, and spend time with those you want to.
No, you dont need to stick it out for your entire career. But if and when you move on to something you enjoy more, building a strong savings account and being financially secure will help you to feel relaxed and comfortable — especially if that next role is a more satisfying position which includes a pay cut.
Expanding your skillset, learning from the bottom up
Every job (no matter how unsatisfying) offers a chance to try and learn new things. And if your current job helps you to perform competently in an environment, it may be worth sticking around to refine and expand those skills. This way, when a bigger and better opportunity does comes along, you can look back on your current success and realise what made you who you are today.
Patience is key in developing a strong career, and those at the top of industry did not get there by giving up at the first chance, or by not doing the “grunt” work somewhere. To really master a career, you need to understand it inside and out, and the devil is in the detail.
Uncertainty in the workplace
Companies face challenges every day – losing key clients, market conditions or maybe merging with another business. If the company you are employed with is facing a large amount of uncertainty this can be very demoralising on its own, irrespective of your own role or team.
Removing yourself from office gossip (as tantalising as it may seem) and instead go to trusted sources of information. If you feel like you’re getting stonewalled and there isn’t a reasonable level of transparency then the time may have come to seek new opportunities. This doesn’t mean downing tools, sulking or generally lowering your work effort – if anything you should try and double your efforts!
You can still find a new role or career without having to take anything away from your current employer. Begin your job search here.
How does quitting affect your family?
If you’re married, have children, or have people who are financially dependent on you, then you need to think about how they’ll be impacted by leaving your job. Can you afford everything you could before? How would the stress of being jobless affect your relationship?
If you are always depressed or frustrated because you dislike your job, your partner or children might also feel the pressure. Long or prolonged work hours can also have a negative effect on your family. Make sure you talk to your partner or other family members and share your feelings. By sharing your emotions about your current career situation then you are releasing some of the tension and perhaps emotions that come when one isn’t satisfied in their current career role.
Talk things through and ask questions. Whatever your decision is you will feel better by sharing your feelings and the next step will feel right. Don’t forget the grass is not always greener on the other side, so make sure you really explore what the real issues are in your current role before making any decisions you might later regret.
Have a look through the Careers section of Careersaas to see what other options are open to you in other companies or what other industries your skills will transfer into.