Why are you still working there?
If you are unhappy with your job, why are you still working there? Is it time for you to make a career change?
Last week we shared an article on Strawberry Seed social media, “9 things that make good employees quit”, originally posted on the Huffington Post website.
Anyone who follow us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, knows that we share content on career change all the time but what blew me away was the numbers this article attracted. At the time of publishing this post, on Facebook alone, it had been shared multiple times and read by more than 200 people. This might not sound like a lot, but for a small page like Strawberry Seed, the response was amazing.
I could see that this topic resonated with a lot of people, particularly the idea that employees leave managers, not companies. This is not surprising as lousy management is by far the most common reason my career clients list when I ask them why they have engaged our services.
What I will never truly understand is why people wait so long to move on when they are not happy at work. I also find that there are some excuses that we tell ourselves when it comes to making a career change.
Here are some of the excuses I have heard over the years. If you have made any of these to yourself, it may take time for you to look for your next role.
It must be me
This one is inspired by a conversation I had as I was halfway through writing this article (thanks if you are reading this!).
There are circumstances where an employee is unhappy with their treatment at work, but they stay because the negative environment has resulted in a loss of confidence. They blame themselves for the issues that are making their jobs difficult such as poor management or horrible co-workers. Even worse, workplace bullying may have worn them down to a point where they believe they are no longer a good employee and therefore no one else would hire them.
If you feel like this, I beg you to look at making a change. You deserve to wake up in the morning and not dread going to work every day. Life is not meant to be that hard. Trust me; you will be a valuable member of any organisation that is lucky to employ you.
I don’t know what I want to do for the rest of my life
There is good news for you here. You don’t need to decide what you want to do for the rest of your life. You only need to focus on what you want to do next. If you don’t like your job, it may just be because you don’t like where you are working rather than what you are doing. Look at your next position as a stepping stone to allow yourself some breathing space to decide on what you want to do long term. You may move companies and find that you enjoy what you do!
I don’t have time to get a résumé together
If you have never had a résumé, or not updated your old one for a long time, it can be a daunting process, but this is a pretty weak excuse. If you are miserable, merely starting to update your résumé can start you on a path to making a positive change.
Even if you are just contemplating a move, making the time to update your résumé means you will be ready if (and when) the right opportunity pops up. Chip away at it over time or get some professional help if you don’t know where to start.
I will never find another job
I am by no means suggesting that you quit your job tomorrow before you start searching for a new one. But there are always other roles out there, even if they are not immediately apparent. If you have your résumé together, you can start looking to see what else is out there.
Register on job boards like Seek or Indeed to receive job updates for positions that may be of interest. Update your LinkedIn profile. Let friends and family know that you would be willing to make a move if the right job came up. Your network finds it for you. Dip your toe in the job market and you never know what will come up.
I don’t want to leave my co-workers
I am guilty of staying in a job I no longer liked (for a lot longer than I should have). I loved my immediate work team and did not want to leave them or let them down. But great work mates can only compensate for so much. Just because you leave, doesn’t mean you will never see them again. You will most likely find they are incredibly supportive of you making a career change that makes you happy.
I am just scared!
Fear is a core human emotion and it can stop us from doing so many things. Usually by the time I am sitting with a client, they have been contemplating making a move for years. Fear has been holding them back. Fear of the unknown. Fear of change. Fear of rejection. Being scared is ok but you also need to be brave. Being brave is staring fear in the face and having a crack anyway.
Life is too short to work somewhere you don’t enjoy. One of my greatest joys is seeing my clients make a career change. And you know what they say when they do? I should have done this years ago!