A common occurrence in my home is for my children to chase one another around. Oftentimes, my oldest will say, “I’m gonna get you!” to the youngest and she blindly takes off running in a cute joyful/fearful state.
While usually nothing comes of it, occasionally there’s a large unmovable object directly behind her…and before I can say, “Watch out for that…!”, the large object has already thrown a WWE-style shoulder block. Her fate would’ve probably been better, and less painful, if she had just stood still and dealt with whatever was coming after her…or at the very least, evaluated where she was and what was around her before bolting.
A lot to process in a split second for a 2-year old? Yes. But how many times as an adult have you been afraid or unhappy with your professional situation, and before you could calculate your next move or come up with a plan to make it better, you simply took off and ran smack dab into a wall (another crappy job) or set back?
A former manager of mine once told me that people should never run from a job, they should only run to one. This line comes to mind every time I hear someone complain about his or her job or position, but has no clear plan for what’s next or simply takes the next opportunity that comes available. Your motivation for changing jobs should be because you really want the new opportunity, not because you don’t like where you are. Blindly running will never fix the real issue. What good does it do to go from one unhappy place to another unhappy place? Different scenery, same lack of fulfillment.
So what do you suggest I do while waiting and sticking it out Unlikely HR dude? I’m glad you asked! Waiting is easier said than done, but if you have to, take advantage of the things that your current employer does have in place:
1. Training – Somewhere on the employer’s intranet, there are probably free webinars and trainings that you can participate in. If they don’t prepare you for your next career, you may get better at what you’re presently doing and opportunities for progression may present themselves.
2. Education – Want to go back to school? Check out the employer’s Tuition Reimbursement program. If you don’t invest in yourself, why would an employer? This may help you in determining what type of career you do want to run to. Just read their policy and actually pass the classes to avoid having to pay it back!
3. Development – Make your career progression goals known. Because there are people who are completely satisfied in their positions, sometimes the only way for a manager to know you’re interested in moving up is for you to tell them. Now don’t just say it and expect a promotion, formulate a development and career progression plan for yourself. You’ll be taken more seriously if you’ve shown that you put some thought into it…and money shouldn’t be your only motivation (at least don’t vocalize that).
By taking an active role in your own development, you dictate how your coworkers and management view and treat you. Chances are, the very things that you hate about the employer will change if you let the possibilities fuel you and not just waddling in your career misery.
Not complaining and not waiting on the world to notice your value, but showing and proving how valuable you are will make the waiting more tolerable and will have employers running to you, not the other way around!