Most of us prefer not to search for a job. We want to be employed, perform challenging work and be treated fairly. Although there’s more to it, I hear that from most of my clients. With fairness comes at market compensation and a positive work environment where you are respected and appreciated for your contributions. Furthermore, your relationship with your manager is strong, (s)he is willing to provide challenging work with opportunities for growth.
The important question becomes what can I do so I am happy at work and in my career? Sometimes it is time to move on, sometimes it may not. Here are some things to consider.
If you don’t feel challenged at work, speak up. Companies love when employees take initiative. They are typically thrilled to give you new projects and assignments. It also says a lot about your commitment to the company. Your manager will remember that initiative come promotion or performance review time. You can also learn new skills, have a chance to show leadership qualities and be more fulfilled at work.
Does your company understand balance between work and family? Are you on call 24/7 or do they value family time? Although it’s important to do your absolute best, honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay so to speak, its critical to have time to decompress. It helps you to be more productive and impacts if you are happy at work.
A colleague of mine had a terrific job on paper, she moved up the ladder quickly, became a part of the management team, was well compensated and valued. What didn’t sit well with her was the ongoing layoffs. She made bonus every year but at what cost. Some people chalk it up to a cost of doing business. My colleague saw it differently. She didn’t feel good about receiving a bonus check knowing talented employees were being let go. There was a lack of alignment with her values. Although she loved her job, it was more important to move on to a company that was growing, one that added staff every year.
It was a personal preference that was important to her. She was torn because she loved the nature of her work but couldn’t completely agree with the direction of the organization. It affected her ability to feel happy at work. When you feel a disconnect with the company, that’s something to consider.
Movement Throughout The Company
If you work for a company that encourages internal movement, embrace it. Whether it’s a lateral move or a promotion, there’s always something to learn. Complacency is the enemy. It’s vital to be stimulated intellectually. Working for a company that prefers to fill positions from within is something to be valued. If at some point, you decide to leave, it makes you invaluable to the next company. Furthermore, it’s something you can highlight in your job interview. It demonstrates the ability to adapt, learn quickly and a unique skill set your competition does not have.
Some of us decide it’s time to move on in our career. Before you make that decision, ask yourself “Is there something I can do to feel happy at work?” Think about it. Consequently, things may change and you could end up already working at your dream job. You just didn’t know it.