A job is a lot like a new relationship. In the beginning, you bask in the wonderful honeymoon stage of bliss and contentment and then things start to get difficult. The question “How could I have been so wrong?” pops into your head over and over again. At this point you can see the potential, commit to the relationship and work out your problems, or you become disillusioned and start looking for the replacement. The perfect job? The perfect partner? The perfect fallacy.
When you first start a new job, you are certain that this is the dream job. The people are great, you have a wonderful and supportive boss, the work load seems fair and you are happy. After awhile disillusionment sets in and it doesn’t quite seem like the same job you had in the beginning. Your co-workers aren’t carrying their weight, your boss is demanding and you can’t keep up with the work load. You can easily find blame with all the people who are conspiring to make your forty hour week seem like eighty. If this disillusionment continues, you eventually start looking for another job. Then when you find another job, guess what? The whole process starts over again. It is the “grass is always greener on the other side” scenario playing out in your career.
How can we stop the cycle of job hopping? By understanding that we have a choice to make at the point of disillusionment we can change our focus. In a job, as in a relationship, fault can usually be found on both sides. Then the question becomes what are you willing to do to make it work? Acknowledgment of your role in the problem is a good first step. If your work load seems daunting, have you asked for help and shared those feelings with your manager? If someone isn’t pulling their weight on the team, have you spoken to them and tried to come up with a solution? If you were frustrated with a project, did you do everything possible to understand the situation and research possible solutions? You need to ask yourself “Are my current problems so insurmountable and so unique that I won’t find them anyplace else?” If they are that horrendous, by all means start looking. If they aren’t all that unique or insurmountable, recommit to your current job and start focusing on what you can do to improve your situation.
Not every job change is an upward move. How many lateral moves do you want to make revisiting the same issues over and over again? Recommitting to your current job shows you have the skills that it takes to find solutions, persevere and grow in your position. The honeymoon doesn’t have to be over; it just has to be revisited so you can remember why it was that you took the job in the first place. The things that drew you to your current position are most likely the same things you would seek somewhere else, so why leave?
Question: What can you do today to recommit to your current position?