Do you really need a new position or actually need a new perspective?
This article was first posted in 2017/2018. It has been updated for 2022.
Have you ever heard the old adage, “The grass is always greener on the other side?” A better description would be “The grass always APPEARS greener on the other side.” It is a part of human nature to want more, to compare ourselves to others and think that their lives or in this case careers are more exciting or the companies they work for are super wonderful. We may even go as far as to say, “If I had (fill in the name)’s career, I would be so much further in my life.” Or “If I worked at (fill in the company name), I would be happier and better appreciated.” However, when we get to the “other side” we find that the grass was painted green and isn’t even real and not only that, we have also now been assigned the task of painting it green. By this time, unfortunately too late, we realize that the grass really isn’t greener on the other side at all and are now full of regrets.
We now frantically begin looking at the “greener grass’ in yet another area and we are even more bitter. However, this time we are blaming a supernatural conspiracy on why these companies are incessantly blind to our superior capabilities. Eyes closed to that fact that we are the common denominator. Nope. It has to be their fault. Meanwhile, my resume looks like a game of Frogger (yes, I just dated myself, you can google it) because I’ve had ten different jobs in ten years.
The problem is that these statements often divest us from owing responsibility for the outcomes in our lives. The truth of the matter is in most situations, we have control over our own experiences. It comes down to our choices. Was it really that I was screwed out of a well-deserved promotion, or was it all of those times I finished my projects late that contributed to my being passed over? Was it that they were “setting me up” to be fired or was it that the fact is I only showed up to work 50% of the time or was late 30% of the time? Or was it simply there was a better, more qualified candidate that earned the promotion? Is our perspective getting in the way?
Here’s the good news! We can be free from the bondage of the blame game. We do have the opportunity to build a career strategy that allows us to own our outcomes and make better career choices. The first step is to review our perspective.
Do you really need a new position, or do you actually need a new perspective? You decide.
The Great Resignation
There are varied reasons why people have decided to leave their position post pandemic. Some reasons include (but are not limited to) low pay, child-care concerns, and mental health considerations. Due to the much publicized “worker shortage” many rethought their current positions. These individuals opted to take advantage of the perceived robust opportunity to move forward in their careers with a new position. The move proved successful for some who were able to secure new “dream” positions. However, there are many who are still engaged in their career search as the greener pasture has eluded them. Many simply did not anticipate the economic implications of inflation, supply chain challenges, and natural disasters. For those individuals a new perspective may be needed to navigate finding their next position. Yet there are still others who regret their move because the increase in salary brought elevated problems and are now in a new career search. These individuals find themselves in an uncomfortable situation because it’s now not as easy to find their next position. Additionally, there is also the concern of whether their recent career move will be viewed negatively by hiring managers. Finding a new position doesn’t have to be painful, but it may take more time than originally planned and a new perspective. Candidates will have to be clear on their goal and make moves that make sense and doesn’t threaten their livelihoods. Fortunately, there are many resources and actions that individuals can proactively take to find their next position, even in challenging economic climates. The following are a few ideas to consider:
- Be clear on your target position and your qualifiers and deal-breakers for your next position/company.
- Make sure your resume is targeted and updated to satisfy key requirements.
- Update your LinkedIn profile and other professionally used social media to reflect your updated resume and target position.
- Write posts/articles, share relevant professional articles you find interesting, and participate in professional groups to establish yourself as a subject matter expert.
- Grow your network by increasing your connections and engage with others. Try to offer ways you can help so that it’s not a one-sided exchange.
- Get comfortable with rejection, but search for lesson’s learned in every experience.
- Apply only for positions that may allow you to professionally stretch (and meet much of the requirements) but not set you up failure because you are ill-prepared to perform the position. This will also help with minimizing your rejection rates.
- Don’t be afraid to seek help through a career coach, resume writer or other professional if you don’t want to do the work yourself or alone. There are professionals to meet every budget. Free resources will require more of your time but is also very effective if you do the work.
- Share with all of your networks (social media, friends, family, former colleagues, school alumni) that you are searching for your next position. Referrals are still an excellent way to get through the door.
- Volunteer or participate in professional efforts that will sharpen your skills, help others, and expand your network.
I often recommend to my clients to apply to at least three positions annually to measure the value of their expertise in the marketplace. It can be very liberating. It can also expose what is still needed to achieve your career goal. During this time, also consider self-reflecting on whether a new position or a new perspective makes sense for your career journey.
I hope this article allows each of us to think differently about our career and empowers us to proactively manage your career journey. Looking inward and accepting our part in how we experience our workplace can actually increase confidence. Being self-aware can help develop those areas and increase our contribution to the organization.
The career journey is a marathon not a sprint. Having a strategy and making career transitions that make sense towards the goal (including financial) will provide the growth needed to accomplish the ultimate goal. It may also make those things that is undesirable (but not a deal-breaker) about a position more tolerable as we develop what is needed to move forward. Remember no job is perfect, consider all perspectives before making critical career moves.
Back to the beginning. Do you need a new position or a new perspective? Your choice will determine your outcome.
Nanette Kirk is the President and CEO of NetKi Enterprises, A career services company providing career coaching and resume writing services. We are taking a step to improve our perspective to support our clients in reaching newer heights in their career. To learn more about us, schedule a free 15-min consultation, or receive career and business tips in email go to www.netkienterprises.com. We also have both paid and free career tools and resources to support your career journey. Check out our e-store here: NetKi Enterprises E-Store Follow Nanette on LinkedIn and also the NetKi Enterprises Company page on LinkedIn. We look forward to supporting your career journey!