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  • Changing Jobs? If You’re Going to Do it, Do it Right

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    Are you thinking of changing jobs?

    You’re not alone. An estimated 21 million Americans will change jobs this year according to a study released by Harris Interactive and Cornerstone OnDemand.

    Changing jobs isn’t as “taboo” as it used to be. A generation ago, people got a job and stuck with it. They stayed with the same employer for thirty years or more and had great pensions waiting for them when they retired. If they didn’t like their jobs – tough. They stuck it out.

    Today’s workers change jobs much more frequently. Job-hopping isn’t as looked down upon as it used to be. Today, we say things like, We’re broadening our horizons. We’re gaining valuable experience in a variety of settings. We’re diversifying our work portfolios.

    It’s all good, right?

    I don’t know. You tell me.

    Why are you really changing jobs?

    Horrible boss? Crappy paycheck? Too much travel? Not enough responsibility? Too much responsibility?

    Those are some common complaints from those who say they will be changing jobs this year.

    Consider some deeper questions now:

    How much of your time spent at your job keeps you in your zone? Using your best talents? Using and developing your best skills — the ones you delight most in using?

    Is the job a good fit for your personality? Does it feel natural to you? Is it social enough? Structured enough?

    And do you really care about what you’re doing? Does it matter to you? Do you talk about your job during your “off” hours because you just love it so much? Do you care, for anything other than personal financial reasons, if the company that you are working for is successful? Do their values match your values? Do they provide products or services that you really believe in? Can you put your heart and soul into the job in order to help the company achieve its mission?

    If you’re currently in job search mode, the answers to most of those questions are probably negative. But, when you’re considering making the move to your next employer, are those the kinds of questions that you’re considering in making your move?

    Changing jobs – even frequently – may be more commonplace now, but have we thought about what we’re really looking for every time we change jobs? Are we looking merely for higher paychecks, less annoying bosses, or bigger offices?

    Chances are we’re looking for something a little more.

    Something more fulfilling. Something that lets us really be us. Something that we can pour ourselves into every day for a reason beyond a paycheck.

    What if you woke up on Monday mornings and were really jacked up to go to work? What if you just giggled when you got your paycheck because it almost didn’t seem fair that you were getting paid to be doing the work that you were doing? What if your spouse never had to hear you complain about what happened at the office today (or vice versa!)?

    Changing jobs is ranked among life’s most stressful events. If you’re going to change jobs, shouldn’t you make the effort to find a really great job that’s really tailored to you, instead of just a different one?

    In his book Good to Great, Jim Collins talks about getting the right people on the bus. And then getting them in the right seats on the bus. He says that magic can happen at a company when the bus is filled with the right people (employees) in the right seats (jobs).

    Employers are looking for people who will have great passion for their jobs. They want to hire people who not only have the right skills and personalities for the jobs, but they also want to hire people who want to do their jobs. They want people who are interested in the jobs, in and of themselves. They know that these kinds of workers will bring drive and passion and a level of engagement and morale to the job that can’t just be purchased with a paycheck.

    Flip this to your side as a job seeker now. Did you know that YOU have the abilities, personality, and interests to be truly great at certain jobs… but not so much at others?

    You know this already.

    There is work that you are capable of doing, and then… there’s work that you are just completely cut out for. It’s right up your alley. It’s challenging, but you take pride and enjoyment from performing it – and performing it well.

    What are you REALLY good at? What gets you excited? What could you see yourself doing that would really make a difference – not just in your own life but in the lives of others? What kind of setting is most appealing to you?

    Now… how could you channel all of that skill and passion into a job? You’d be a dream employee for someone. Or, maybe you’d be a great entrepreneur. Either way, there’s a job out there that is uniquely suited to you.

    The RIGHT job is out there for you. Perfect jobs may not exist – I’ll concede a bit here – but fulfilling work is out there to be had. I personally live by an 80-20 guideline: 80% of what I’m doing must keep me in my strength zone; 20% is my tolerance level for what I consider the “crud” work that’s not my favorite, but… it’s part of the gig. Bottom line – overall, I have to be happy.

    If you’re changing jobs, think about the opportunity that lies before you. Ask yourself the hard questions about why you’re making the move, and then figure out the answers that will lead you to true success.

    LEGEND Talent Management works with mid-career professionals who are considering a career change. Our Career Assessment tools help us to determine, based on an individual’s skills, personality, and interests, career options that may be a natural fit for them. To schedule an assessment that can be taken online in 60-90 minutes, please contact us at