Happy Thanksgiving

We at Franklin Paterson Company Inc. are thankful for so much this Thanksgiving.
We are incredibly grateful for your support, good counsel, excellent comments on our posts, and continued friendship. We appreciate you. Here’s wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving day, and all the best for the upcoming holidays.

Are you Desperate to Change Jobs, or is it Simply Something you Want to do?

To fulfill a need is to satisfy a desire that may improve your quality of life. Suppose your need is related to your job satisfaction. One must distinguish a want from a need, even a long-standing want. A want is a choice, a desire a person must accept they may or may not get. A need is often necessary for a person’s survival.

Are you desperate to change jobs, or is it simply something you want to do? Is it the nature and quality of the work itself, or simply the people that make your work situation intolerable? Do these circumstances create a desire, a want, or a desperate need to change your job? You may find survival extremely difficult if a sincere need goes unmet. But the conundrum has to be faced down and scrutinized.

Your career wants can be individual and may arise from an actual situation, your perspective on how things should be, or what kind of change is possible at this time. The stable among us realizes that life will continue, and one is likely to survive intact if one does not get what one wants. While it may be difficult to accept not getting what you want, one thing is sure: you will survive, and the catharsis may even improve you.

So is your need to leave your present position a survival move? Do you believe your career advancement and talents will diminish or even be obliterated if you stay with your current employer? Are you so stressed and bedraggled about the dire situation at work and the creative quality of the work you are producing? Or is the disinterested funk starting to affect your home or social life?

Here are some things to think about:

  1. To be clear, you like the industry you work in, but the job itself needs to address your need for growth. So you feel unsettled? As a result, are you perusing the jobs section daily? Since you think this is an excellent company, at least three times a week.
  2.  Have you grown tired of the similarity in the recent projects you are assigned? Or could it be the types of feedback, your interactions with the person you report to, the team you work with, the level of corporate indecision, or even the goals of the department or company?
  3. Are you being taken advantage of? Have you become “Ms. 2%” since you have been getting the same 2% raise for years? Does the culture or company ethos no longer match your way of thinking or working? Is your work-life balance all wrong?
  4. The dilemma with a capricious need is that once you satisfy that need, miscellaneous “just because” wants may arise, becoming a cycle of short-lived impulsive want-needs. And, take this giant leap with me – a couple of years into it, you find that you are leapfrogging from short-term to even shorter-term assignments.

Temporary but cyclical unhappiness can wreak havoc on your job satisfaction, which may be the thing leading you to think that your NEED to leave your job. So this all comes back to the original question: Do you need to leave this job, or is your sudden flurry of job searching just a caprice? 

Is it dawning on you that your new boss may dislike you, or is beginning to regret hiring you?

So, lucky you, your dream job has materialized. You have just snagged a promotion, transferred to your dream job at your current firm, or started an exciting new job at another firm.

But it is dawning on you that your new boss may dislike you or now has second thoughts about hiring you?

Does your new boss call on other team members but pretend not to notice or hear your contribution? Or worse, your boss dismisses your responses? Do you worry that everyone is catching on that every interaction with you brings out the worst in your new boss? Are you baffled since your boss appears to interrelate well with everyone else on the team but you?

Fixing this problem requires courage and self-evaluation. Here are a few things to consider before setting up a meeting with your boss:

1.      Are you a transfer from another team or a new hire? Then re-read the job description, especially the soft skills required. Were you previously paired with talented teammates? Your new boss may think that you consider the new team a downgrade.

2.      Are your well-thought-out questions at group meetings viewed as an attempt to overshadow the team? Do you interrupt or correct team members at meetings? Does your boss make no eye contact with you at meetings? That is a reliable sign that they do not trust or feel connected to you.

3.      Does your new boss believe your last few projects were lightweight or used dated technology, so they are unwilling to discuss your ideas or input in a group setting?

4.      Set up a one-one meeting with your manager. Ask future-focused questions to show that you are not complaining but attempting to improve your working relationship. When a legitimate misalliance is mentioned, acknowledge it with a sentence starting with, “From now on, I will do X.”

5.      Address competency questions, and engage your manager regarding the areas you can improve and the type of communication they prefer.

6.      Try not to interrupt. Active listening will signal that you believe the conversation is safe and interested in change. Your boss will naturally begin to feel more comfortable with you.

Be calm and matter-of-fact in your explanation of your concern. Consider borrowing credibility by associating with others who already have your boss’s trust at the meetings, and forgo starting arguments.

As you work on your relationship with your boss and invest in your relationships with your teammates, your boss will likely notice your effort. And above all, remember that great working relationships materialize over time, so be prepared to put in some work and give it time.

Don’t try to change everything when embarking on your job search.

Most folks seek to change everything when embarking on a job search process. Many believe they will be more satisfied in a different work environment, company, industry, or even a different location. We seek a significant definable change as we embark on our job search, all the time hoping our change everything approach will fix what is wrong in our current work situation!

We also tend to dwell on the negative things that affect us and overlook good things. If you are anxious about a change in your career, here are a few things to consider before leaving your current position.

We often fail to go granular in our research of why the current job or the company is no longer a fit. For example, we do not consider the employment conditions currently working for or against us.

1.      Is it our discontent with the team politics or undercurrents of general team dissatisfaction? Or is it workload stress, undelivered promotions, low wages, unaligned vision/goals, or work-life balance? Is the lack of management support, training, or the increasing cost of benefits causing your unhappiness in your current role?  

 2.      It is a good idea to look at all these factors to ascertain the root of your frustration. Use what you learn in looking at these factors as benchmarks as you review and interview for new positions.

 We often forget to do a self-evaluation. Are you a top performer? If not, seek feedback from your supervisor or trusted teammates regarding your competencies. Then brush up your skills with the needed training or classes to beef up the skills that could be key for securing your next position.

 Here are a few other areas to consider.

 1.      Investigate the option of job searching within your current company. Job searching within your company makes good sense—research job opportunities within your company, its branches, or sister companies. There might be an opportunity at another local branch in other cities or states. Could this be the case for your organization?

 2.      Consider going forward in your career by going backward. How about job searching within one of your former companies? Is there support from former colleagues for your new adventure? This is vital, as many seek their next job through secure networking with former colleagues.

 3.      Plan out your internal and external job search; both can run in parallel. Develop and write down your goals, actions, and feedback steps. Track and evaluate your progress in these areas, and make reasonable adjustments to the “got to get out of here” timeline.

 4.      The job search process is often overwhelming, time-consuming, and sometimes devoid of favorable feedback. Breaking your job search into steps will help you identify and evaluate your progress or possible stumbling blocks.

 5.      Do a bi-weekly assessment of your outcomes, and commit to a bi-weekly review of your job search status. Give your job search quality time, and remember to nurture the other parts of your life, family, volunteer work, and hobbies.

Now may also be the time for an attitude adjustment. It is crucial to assess and monitor your attitude. Be methodical and deliberate in your job search and fight the temptation to grab the first reasonable offer because you are anxious to leave and are concerned about missing your completion deadline. And although difficult to admit, you may need to accept that while you are ready to make the job or career change, the emotional investment of your nearest and dearest may be bordering on ambivalent, disinterested interest.

Finally, be prepared to discover that job searching and career exploration can be a lonely business, so be kind, supportive and nuturing towards yourself as you hit unexpected bumps. As Neil Barringham, Mental Health Expert and Manager of A Place to Belong, once said: “The grass is greener where you water it.” 

The Stay Where You Are, Job Search.

So things are not going well at your current job. You have outgrown your current role. And besides, every day, a new happenstance threatens to add to your six grey hairs (yes, you counted them last weekend, and you are now up from five). Should you indulge yourself and just quit or continue to work at this dreadful place as your job search?

No easy remedy exists for hapless employees who quit their current company before they have lined up a superior replacement job. When it comes to job leaving, you had better have a plan and an exit strategy, or there will be no meaningful sympathy for the rash move job-quitter. So, before handing in your notice, consider if there is any unexplored potential in your current job; that could make it worth your while to stay. Well, at least until you have formulated a proper leaving plan! 

 Here are a few other things to consider. Start with arranging a career status chat with your boss. Hiring is costly in terms of energy, time, and money, so companies are keen to keep their existing teams intact. Your manager will likely be receptive to meeting with you to work out remedies to help re-fashion your job in a new way that reflects your career interests. Talk to your boss about the possibilities for enriching your role and adding to your experience.

  Very few people use all of their skills in their current job. Consider what under-utilized skills or potential you have that could be of benefit to your current employer. Talk to your boss about the possibilities for augmenting your current role, and remember to ask a lot of diagnostic questions to ascertain whether your manager is in support of your goal.

The company will benefit from using more of your talents. You can build experience in the specialty areas that interest you, which you can use as leverage when applying for a new role later. Consider a lateral move to a different department. An internal move will enable you to leverage your existing knowledge of the business, its processes, and its culture. Besides a new learning opportunity, an internal move can create another vertical advancement ladder. 

 Try to ensure a smooth transition and minimize the disruption to your current team. You can do a range of things to accommodate the handover professionally. That includes completing ongoing projects, working out the project priorities with your manager, leaving clear documentation, or training your successor in processes or software.

If your only avenue for career advancement option appears to be the exit door, after considerable thought. I would recommend that you seek the help of a Career Strategy Coach. To be clear, Career Strategy is not the same as Interview Preparation or Interview Coaching, job search coaching processes that focus on answering fact-based interview questions precisely. The downside is that these performance-directed coaching processes often turn anxious, goal-oriented candidates into boring talking heads and often obfuscate the candidate’s personality.

A Career Strategy Coach can advise you on your relevant referential and replicable skills that will enhance the possibility of success in your job search. And help you fine-tune your interviewing tactics to ensure that you convey the complexity of your experience and your determined long-term goals to interviewers. Your coach can also help you to clarify and adjust your career decision-making criteria so you do not give answers at the interview that may succeed in getting you the job but do not convey your career goals.

Your Career Strategy Consultant can help you help change your interviewing approach from a spirited tennis match to a thoughtful, strategic, and goal-oriented chess match!