“I can’t take this job any more. I am working over 60 hours a week and still never get caught up. The demands here are ridiculous and my efforts are never really recognized. I almost walked out twice last week. I need to find a better job NOW!”
“I have totally lost interest in my work. The people are nice and the pay is good but I just can’t get fired up about my career anymore. I used to be really excited about my job but now I don’t even want to go to work. A promotion just passed me by and I didn’t even care. I’ve decided to leave and start a business.”
“This company is so screwed up. They keep making bad decisions and just sent half my team’s jobs overseas. They are always trying “new” things that are really just how we were doing them
five years ago, and they didn’t work then either! My boss is an idiot and my teammates are always trying to get me to do their work. As soon as I find something else, I’m outta here!”

These are the stories that come into the coaching career line every day. People hanging at the end of their career rope who are fed up and ready to take this job and shove it! They want a
fast track out of an intolerable situation and are ready to move heaven and earth to make it happen. So they find a new job or business, turn in their notice and jump ship (not necessarily
in that order). Freedom at last! Or not. Unfortunately many discover that an unwelcome stowaway jumped on board when they packed their boxes on that final day: the problem came along with them.

Don’t get me wrong. Change is good. The slowest road to promotion, top salary and high job satisfaction is to stay in the same job or company year after year. But when change is driven by the need to escape from a bad job, you often miss the mark. This “move away from” strategy has several major flaws:

First – you assume that you are not part of the problem and miss out on learning an important lesson or two. Maybe you are working 60 hours a week and being taken advantage of by your
team members because you haven’t learned the art of saying NO when you should. Maybe you are overly resistant to change or tend to blame others when things go wrong. You can run but
you cannot hide from yourself. These issues will keep cropping up no matter where you go!

Second – you move to the opposite end of the spectrum, assuming things will have to be better there. If you think your boss is demanding, just wait until you become your own boss! While a
60+ hour job is a huge challenge, a really boring job with no overtime can be twice as draining. Two years later you’ll be on the job hunt path again.

Third – you don’t take the time to figure out what you really want. Trial and error is a common method and many people spend their whole lives searching for the perfect job without taking
time to stop and think about what it really is. If you don’t know what you want, you’ll never find it.

Ready to look before you leap?

Steps for a successful exit strategy:

Own your part of the problem. Job issues are never one-sided and righteous indignation just gets in the way of seeing how you contribute. Even if leaving your job is ultimately a good
strategy for you, stick around long enough to use your current challenge as a learning opportunity. As in the examples above, you may choose to develop stronger boundaries, improve your communication skills or learn how to adapt effectively to a rapidly changing environment. Changing your approach often dramatically improves the situation.

Check your attitude. A bad attitude feeds off of itself and makes things unnecessarily worse. Once you begin to use this job as a training ground for the next one, you can move your energy
from hating your current situation to seeing it as a way to prepare for the next one. Done well, this attitude shift buys you the time and energy you need to do it right.

Design your next job purposefully and from a positive perspective. Rather than focusing on what you don’t want, consider all the criteria that you need for a great job match. Begin by designing a perfect day at work, right down to the last detail! Here are some ideas to get you started: role, work hours, commute, challenge, flexibility, work environment, team dynamics, promotion opportunities, travel, skills used, pace of change.

Use your shopping list of perfect job criteria to measure each potential opportunity against what you really want.
Now you have a “move towards” strategy and are prepared to seek out new roles, new jobs, and new careers that really fit. Now you can take this job and love it!

“Things do not change, we change.” ~ Henry David Thoreau


Read Manage Your Attitude and Advance in Life, an article by John Alston.

A personalized career assessment can provide great insights into your optimal work style and environment. Call the Transitions For Business office to order yours today!

Develop your perfect job criteria using this Job Satisfactions and Values checklist http://www.career-in-your-suitcase.com/exercises/job_satisfactions.htm or the Work Values
Checklist http://wlb.monster.com/articles/values/

Interested in other articles on career success? Check out the Peak Performer archives at
http://transitionsforbusiness/archives. Subscribe for future issues while you’re there!

© 2008 Transitions For Business. All rights reserved. This newsletter can be forwarded
to individuals, as long as it is sent in its entirety.

Author's Bio: 

TJP, the President and founder of Transitions For Business, helps her clients achieve full potential. A human behavior and communication specialist, Teresa’s work as a coach, consultant, speaker, strategic facilitator, and workshop leader has motivated thousands to achieve their personal best. In addition to her hands-on, in-person work, she inspires change through her published articles, television and radio appearances, and two leadership guides: Focus in the Midst of Chaos and Communication DISCovery.

Teresa’s personal and professional experience gives her a unique perspective and understanding of her clients’ needs. She spent almost two decades in the global technology industry, leading organizations, coaching high potential leaders, developing teams, business planning, market strategy, and change management.
Teresa has coached professionally since January 2000. Her credentials include:
 Professional Certified Coach (PCC), International Coach Federation
 Certified Professional Behavioral Analyst
 Certified Professional Values Analyst
 Neuro Linguistic Master Practitioner
 Staff Coach, University of Texas Executive MBA program
 Supervising Coach and Examiner, University of Texas Executive Coaching program

In her community, Teresa led the International Coach Federation of North Texas as its president and participates in the Dallas HR Management Association. An active member of the American Business Women’s Association, Teresa was named Business Associate of the Year. Teresa has served as a volunteer leadership mentor for the Menttium® program since 2002. Teresa also helps the sight-impaired achieve their full potential through her work as a volunteer puppy raiser for Southeastern Guide Dogs and IMPACT director for the FMC Carswell “cell dogs” program.