The start of a new year is often cause for reflection, about life, our career and our current job. A holiday, some time to think: Am I doing what I want to do? Am I happy working where I am? What would I like to do differently? Do I want a complete change?
This is all pretty normal. In fact the early parts of the year is the time that businesses have the most employee turnover and also advertise the most jobs. It makes sense.
But should you change jobs? Is it time to move on and do something different? I have been reflecting about a couple of times in my career when I changed jobs or thought about changing jobs, and how important "gut feel" is when considering a new opportunity. What's this gut feel thing? To me it's that feeling in the pit of your stomach that says "this feels right" or "this doesn't feel right". It's often something you can't quantify or describe. The times when I have noticed this feeling and acted upon it, things have gone well. The times when I noticed the feeling but ignored it or rationalised it away.....disaster!
A while ago, when I was working in retail (and I didn't want to work in retail) I auditioned for a production of Chicago, the musical. The group putting on the production had secured some state government funding to tour the production around regional Queensland. I got in and had a small part! So cool. My career in amateur theatre was not over!
Rehearsals started. It was fun, but didn't quite feel right. Things were a little disorganised but I don't think that was it. Hmmm....As the rehearsals continued the less I wanted to be involved. Why? I couldn't put my finger on it. Was I scared to resign my full time job when we went on tour? I don't think that was it. Was I scared to travel around Queensland for a number of months? Nope.
A few more rehearsals and I left the show. My gut was screaming "don't do it!" Even though I couldn't work out the reasons why. Turned out to be a good decision. The show opened in Ipswich to terrible reviews and then continued up the coast of Queensland. About half way through the planned tour half the cast took control of the mini bus and drove back to Brisbane. The show hadn't improved, one of the producers was a kleptomaniac and was having an affair with the Director, which went sour. It all got very messy.
It wasn't as fun as performing in a musical, but by staying on in my retail job I gained valuable communication, business and conflict management experience, and made the decision to study Human Resource Management.
I had made the decision to leave my current job in HR. I had been with the company for 3 years and was ready for the next step in my career. I applied for a great role with a publicly listed company. I attended two interviews, one with the General Manager of HR and the other with the CEO. I also completed psychometric testing. I was offered the job! Pretty exciting. It's great to be wanted, isn't it?
I resigned my current role but felt sick about it. I couldn't put my finger on it. Rationally it was a good decision. It was a great step in my career, I was joining a newly formed HR team of specialists so I would learn heaps, it paid more money....I felt sick to the core and I ignored the feeling.
Day 1 of any new job can be scary. You don't know anyone or anything but this day 1 was different. It felt completely wrong and that feeling never left me. I tried and tried. I worked long hours. I was stressed and I put on weight. I can't say that awful gut feeling ever left me. I struggled on for 12 months because my pride wouldn't let me have a shorter period on my resume. Bad decision. I should have walked out on day 1 but we had a new mortgage so I limped on.
On reflection I just didn't fit the culture and I didn't have my "antennae" up, during the recruitment process. Two great lessons learned for me.
1. Culture fit is really important. Der.
2. A recruitment process is a two way process. Obviously you want to impress the company you are interviewing with and they want to learn whether you can do the job and fit the company. But you need to learn enough to work out whether you actually want to work there!
|Reflections on Woolgoolga Beach|
Develop meIf you need some extra help have a read of the post here on working out your career purpose and this post here for some extra details!
Just for meSet some Career goals for 2013, write them down and get working!
Tell me about your career goals for 2013. Is there anything you would like me to write about?