June 22, 2012
Too many people wake up on Monday mornings dreading the workday ahead. Not because they don’t like what they do, but rather they don’t like the people they work with or work for. How many times have you heard (or said) “My supervisor is useless” or “If Jim asks me one more dumb question about his own job, I’m going to scream. He’s the senior person around here!” You may even feel like quitting and finding another job just to get away from all the “problem people” you work with. If this sounds remotely familiar or if you have a “friend” who is experiencing this (because we never want to admit that we are talking about ourselves), then you are not alone. According to a survey in CNNMoney.com, one in three unhappy American workers is seriously considering leaving his job and another 21% just come to work and go through the motions. When I was in the Air Force we used to call these people ROAD or retired on active duty. In either case the employer is getting minimal productivity out of these employees, but he is still paying them their full salaries! Clearly no one is winning here.
At this point the big question becomes whether to quit your job and try to find something better or stick it out and try to improve things where you are. Of course there are a number of factors to consider before making a job change decision.
1. Is your job challenging or fulfilling enough?
2. Is there potential for advancement?
3. Do they offer training opportunities?
4. Do you have seniority?
5. Are you vested?
6. Do you have good benefits or perks?
7. How is your commute?
8. Do you like your work environment?
I’m sure you can add other things to this list that may be unique to your industry and are important to you, but the point is there are many, many things to consider before making a “fight or flight” decision. But if after considering all these things, you are still leaning heavily towards leaving, let me give you a few more things to consider.
1. The job you are applying to was vacated by someone else for a reason.
2. If a new position was created, there was likely an unmet need or challenge.
3. Your reputation of being a good worker doesn’t always follow you to a new job.
4. You may have to negotiate for certain benefits that you currently have due to seniority on your job.
5. You have to learn the new company’s culture.
Now before you start thinking that I am against leaving a job let me say that I definitely am not. Starting over in a new environment may be just the catalyst you need to become the extraordinary person you should be. I just want you to give serious consideration to the positive and potentially negative aspects of a job change. You have probably heard the old saying, “The grass always looks greener on the other side.” And I’ll bet that you may even have given in to the temptation to check out “the other side” a few times in your life. I know I have. Unfortunately, what I found was that the grass only seems greener in the beginning, but every place you go will have some type of challenge that you have to learn to deal with. Don’t just run away from challenges or conflicts at your current job without carefully considering what you may be giving up and what you may be walking into. Realize that dealing with conflicts gives us a chance to grow and stretch some often underutilized muscles – our leadership, team building, communication skills, listening skills, negotiating skills, and conflict resolution muscles!