I have always believed that the changes that were imposed on us individually and collectively over the past 18 month had both positive and negative aspects to them. The impact has been felt in all aspects of our lives and, unfortunately, the light at the tunnel’s end seems hazier than we would like it to be. Still and perhaps fueled by optimism, we begin to envision lives that will eventually achieve some sense of normalcy … made up of the old and new normal that will take shape.
Changes in the workplace triggered many of the challenges. Businesses closing or transforming from an ‘in the office’ environment to a remote one had a domino affect in terms of the impact felt in other areas of our lives. And the strong desire to return to a way of living that we recognize and want has had many people looking to change their job or field of work to reclaim control. But is it? And … is this the right time to make that decision?
I once worked with a consultant who introduced the concept of each person’s having an internal stress ‘bank’ account. As we went along living our full lives, we continued to make deposits into that account creating a credit balance. As things arose in our lives that created a degree of concern or challenge, we could dip into the account and withdraw some ‘coins’ to help us weather the stress of the moment. What I also learned is that there are some events that are huge and accordingly, create major stress and require major withdrawals. Things like job changes … relocating a residence … working remotely … marriage/divorce … having to contend with children at home being home schooled or zooming for classes … all create challenges. Because they represent newness, and we are not experienced in how to best handle a situation we dip into our stress account big-time.
Yet here is the catch. Once we deplete our personal credit account, we tend to make decisions that are not in our best interest. A depleted stress account can allow us to make decisions that, in fact, are NOT in our best interest. As an example, … we might feel the best way to reach something on the edge of our roof is to put a box inside of our child’s wagon to serve as our ‘ladder’. The potential of falling and causing major injury is a real possibility and it is the depleted stress account that contributes to the wagon/box approach looking like a good decision.
HOW TO DETERMINE THAT JOB CHANGE IS RIGHT FOR YOU
So here is my point. Changing jobs while still reeling from the impact of that past 1 ½+ years may not be the best time because there is little doubt that our stress accounts have been taxed greatly. Still, even contemplating a job change has several things for us to consider before taking the leap. Here are some of the key ones:
- Get very specific about what in your current job is not working
- Are these things that will go away once we are again living in a COVID controlled environment?
- Is your dissatisfaction something that has been there pre-2020 and you now want to make a change because you can?
- Do you know that you need to work in an office environment full-time to be happy and productive and must find something that will allow this?
- What about your current career is not satisfying?
- Is it the nature of the work you are doing that needs to change?
- Do you find yourself feeling burned out and are open to making a major switch in terms of the type of work you do?
- Is this the time to further your education to master new skills that will enable you to pursue your new and desired path?
- Your role as a manger requires enhanced efforts, trust and sensitivities that you consider unproductive
- Emotional Intelligence (EI) has become a big factor in helping employees/team members adapt to the imposed changes of the recent past. This is not you!
- You believe you need to ‘see’ your team and have actual access to them for you to know that the needed work is being done. Remote doesn’t cut it.
Evaluating the balance between job satisfaction and compensation
- Money isn’t everything becomes front and center as we realize we are not in the right job … for us.
- Does the prospect of working in an area that generates true excitement override the concern for earning the same amount or more money as the current job?
- Do you find yourself bored and looking forward to the weekend … by Tuesday?
- Your job dissatisfaction is having an impact on your personal life outside of work
- Do you find that you are carrying the unhappiness with the job over into areas of your life that are not job related?
- Is this not allowing you to be present to others and situations when not at work?
If considering these things, you realize that a job or career change is what is best for you, I still suggest that doing this now … today … may not be your ideal time to do so. Identifying that a change is something you are open to or even desirous of doing is a good step 1. Step 2 is to determine that now is the best time for you to make the change. That you know there are opportunities available now is one determination. And that you know that you have the credit in your stress account to be able to handle the move without any inclination to use the wagon/box approach to reaching a roof is a good … and healthy … determination. Timing IS everything isn’t it?