Rather than Start Over, why not Redesign your Existing Job?
The hidden job market – part 7
You’re an achiever. You’ve always been excited by challenge and eager to get the job done. Your reputation states that in getting the job done, you’ve always exceeded expectation.
Suddenly, you’ve found yourself slightly dissatisfied, restless and disenchanted in the position you’ve held for years. You can’t really admit to being unhappy but your mind has started imagining very green grass on the other side. You’ve found yourself wondering, is it time? Should I stay or should I go? Big and life-altering questions.
After consulting those in your life whose opinions matter, you’re really the only person who can answer. The decision is yours entirely. But – unless you’ve been offered another position to directly walk into – I implore you: Don’t be hasty.
Hasty is not your style. Your style is being strategic! You derive your satisfaction from building something that will last. In this case what you’re building is your career so take your time and weigh the pros against the cons.
There are a number of ways you can evaluate your options like speaking to a professional career strategist (ahem…) However, to get started why don’t you just grab a pencil and paper. If that’s too old school I’m sure there’s an app out there ready to be downloaded.
Among the pros and cons – you decide what goes on which side – is time. Know this: it takes months to get to the handshake for a new position. Further, depending on the circumstance, it may take another month or two before you actually take a seat at your new desk. The formula I use for helping clients plan their move is most often this: it takes 4 weeks of looking for every $10,000 of compensation you are seeking.
Speaking of which, at the top of the list of pros and cons is salary and other compensation like bonuses, commissions and shares. As one of my clients said during her period of contemplation, "My transition date is key as my annual bonus is contingent on me being with my employer at least 50% of the year."
This reality makes a transition to another organization a bit tricky because the timing of a job offer in conjunction with the bonus payout period seldom align, although it’s not an impossible feat.
And, don’t undervalue your existing relationships with your boss, your board, your colleagues and other associates. If you have the luxury of enjoying solid relationships, then appreciate that they’re invaluable and difficult to replace.
Beth Benatti Kennedy, my friend, colleague and author of Career ReCharge: Five Strategies to Boost Resilience and Beat Burnout, emphasizes the importance of human connection as the key to resiliency. It is easy to get into a rut and not realize how important it is to nourish present and past relationships. Her research points to the fascinating science of human connection through the production of oxytocin and dopamine. These hormones from the brain reduce stress and provide energy when we connect and reconnect with others in our network—people in our office and throughout the organization.
Whether job searching or focusing on our leadership - we need to have a connection plan so we keep key colleagues and friends who inspire us close to us.
Because we all have the basic need to connect with others, we must be proactive throughout our career to ensure we stay connected.
Sometimes by looking inside your current organization, you can find new opportunities to refresh your position, purpose and your networks and not have to start all over again in a new environment.
What I suggest is perhaps you take a look at your existing firm with fresh, less uninspired eyes. From your unique vantage point on the inside, actually review what your position offers the organization. Ask yourself, if the ins and outs of your job were offered by a competing organization would you be interested? Now, reshape your position slightly to allow its responsibilities to encompass new and important work that is a) currently lacking at the firm and b) that you are eminently capable of offering.
Think it through carefully. Time is on your side. Build a strategy that breathes life into your current position, that infuses it with challenge and chases away the overly-familiar. (Chances are it was a sense of tedium that was causing your malaise.)
When the time is right, pitch your idea to fill that gap. This plan is likely to be seen as a huge ROI for your boss and your board, solving a problem, filling a gap – without the cost of recruiting and training a new employee.
I’m Maureen Farmer, president of Word Right Executive Career Marketing. I am a 9-times credentialed career coach.
I work with executives around the world. If you’ve ever struggled with what to say during a job search, networking meeting, or job interview, my book, CEO Script Vault: Job Search Scripts for Busy Executives is a resource that can help. It’s available at: