Don’t let frustration with your current job lead you down the garden path
We all know there’s no such thing as a job for life these days. If you’ve outgrown your current role, you might feel desperate to get out. Frustration can be a good motivator to help us leave a job for something better. However, it can also lead us to making rash decisions, prolonging the agony even further.
I’d like to share a story with you, and some tips, to help you figure out and plan your exit in a calm way, so that you get the right job.
I started my career in HR as an Administrator in the non-profit sector. After four years working in a junior position, it seemed there was no chance of being promoted even though I’d become qualified during that time. I felt undervalued, so I decided to try my luck and started applying for jobs in other organisations.
At the time, I had no clue about how to market myself. All I knew was that I wanted a well-paid job in Human Resources because I believed I deserved it.
I sent my CV to recruitment agencies and started getting calls from them about job opportunities. I went for an interview. Then another. And another.
I must have had over 20 interviews leading to nowhere. I was so desperate that I started applying for jobs where I did not fit the requirements, I just wanted to leave my current job.
It took me almost a year to find another role. And guess what? That role was within my current company at the time.
An internal position came up to work abroad for three months on a secondment. I applied for it, went through two interviews and got the job.
Afterwards, I thought about all the applications I’d made without even getting shortlisted.
It dawned on me that I got this internal position because when I read the job advert, it really resonated with me. It turned out that I was more interested in making a difference in people’s lives than getting a pay increase.
In this job, I would be in Haiti helping people rebuild the country after the earthquake by recruiting the best talent across the country. I would be working in the field, getting to understand the challenges faced by expats and local people. And as it was a stand-alone role I would gain skills on a whole new level.
This experience made me think about the importance of knowing what you want in a job.
Before, my main focus was the salary.
But now I know that being clear about what motivates me will help me to make better decisions and avoid stress and disappointment like I did during that long and tedious job search.
After that experience I made a list to help me navigate different options when leaving a job, which I have used in the past and now share with clients.
So now I’m sharing that list with you…
- Invest your time to think through your decision, what are your reasons for you to leave or your reasons to stay (use notepad to get clear answers).
- Speak to relatives, friends or even your colleagues/boss? They might see things that you have not.
- Consider internal moves within the company to gain new skills.
- Think about what your finances would look like if you left your job and couldn’t find something else straight way.
- Every job has its positives and negatives. Think about what’s important to you in a job so you don’t fall back to the reason why you primarily left your current position.
- Check at what the market is offering. What are your competencies, who do you want to serve, where do you want to make an impact and what do you want to give?
- Be patient. Finding a new job is not easy! You might have the skills, experience and the will, but the competition might be high. So take your time to choose the right job by doing some digging.
- Set goals, small, medium and large, for your career. You have to be able to visualise yourself in a new role.
- Understand what you are really good at and what you love doing. Take money out of the equation when weighing up which roles to go for.
Taking the time to consider these things will help you find a role that really suits you, without the agony of endless applications and interviews that don’t work out.