Mar 31, 2015

How do you know when it’s time for a change? (part II)

Author: Adriana Andreescu

As we were discussing in my first article, there are many potential reasons why an employee could feel less-than-happy at work, and it doesn’t necessarily have to mean switching jobs is the answer. Maybe you’ve lost your interest, or feel like your full potential is not being leveraged. An open, solution-oriented discussion with your manager could help improve such issues. Sometimes, however, it’s just a mismatch in vision.

Workplace culture doesn’t feel like a good fit for you

If you feel like you don’t belong there, you probably won’t feel great about coming to work. It’s not a question of good vs. bad: for example, some people are more comfortable with predictable, unchanging tasks, some prefer constantly-changing assignments, while others look for a balance between the two in order to feel most productive – all these approaches are OK, it’s just a question of what works for you. Otherwise, there’s a big chance your unique value won’t be fully recognized, and you might feel like you’re wasting your time and talent because you’re not leveraging your full potential.

Still, even if it starts to feel like a potential mismatch, there are things you can do to improve your situation.

A direct approach on the matter, during a talk with your superior, can reveal some aspects he hadn’t considered about your needs, he’ll know where you stand, and examine opportunities for change. If nothing changes in the next few months, or you don’t feel like you’re getting an honest answer from him, then we can start looking into this article’s Big Question:

I’ve decided I could be much happier at work, and I’ve done all I can here! What should I do?

  • Start with an honest self-assessment. Consider your values, favorite working style and preferred environment, think about what the relationship with your employer should be like. Most importantly, make sure you have a clear understanding of what you want to do for a future job.
  • Then, you should get yourself up-to-date with the latest market demands, in terms of skills and technologies. With such a fast-paced field like IT-Software, requirements change often, sometimes quite literally overnight.
  • Once you’re aware of the latest in your field, you need to figure out if you have what it takes. Maybe an extra certification, more focus on a certain technology, or learning a new foreign language, could significantly impact your chances of landing that dream-job. We all have a set of unique assets, such as personality, technical skills or other abilities and experiences, so you just have to know your strengths and advertise your potential.
  • Last, but not least, start researching the companies you’d like to work for. Try to understand their needs, and think about how you could add value. In order to do so, you can start by looking at your relationship with your current employer.

I’m sure many people identify with this kind of dilemmas. That’s why I think each of us can keep looking at this matter from different angles, uncovering new details every time; at the end of the day, what you want is most important – that’s why you have to make sure you’re prepared to get it.

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