It has been a while since I have posted anything – my apologies as moving and work meetings usurped my time over the past two weeks. As noted in my previous post, Communication and Evaluation, I would like to offer some random thoughts from my search – you may find them helpful or not – and here they are.
- Perfection: There is no ‘perfect’ in the job search. One will never find the ‘perfect’ opportunity as there are always trade-offs when leaving one role for another. While I am enjoying my new role and employer, my commute is much longer and I no longer have the bonus week of vacation when ND would shut down from December 24th through January 1st (I realize how rare that is). With any new role, there are trade-offs, try to identify them during your offer evaluation process and be realistic if you can live with them.
- Workload: When starting a new job, I focused on the job responsibilities and how much effort that would take to be successful. What I did not give full credit towards is the time and effort required in getting up-to-speed at a new employer. I had spent 15 years in various roles at my previous employer. People within that organization knew me and my work output. I knew many people around campus which made it easy for me to pick up a phone and get an answer to any question. With several years of experience, I had a good grasp of the institutional history and the players. All this made it easy for me to get things done at my previous employer. Now, I am starting from square one. I do not know anyone on campus and they do not know me – I have to prove myself all over again. It is like starting your first job out of college, I have to build relationships and prove myself…and this takes a considerable amount of effort. Be sure to think about whether you are ready to take on the task of starting over in building your reputation at a new employer. I am sure this one consideration has kept many executives in their current roles.
- Expectations: The other week, a former colleague asked how I was doing and I responded that I was “…overwhelmed everyday, and loving it.” When I accepted this new role, I understood that the first few weeks/months will be a time of feeling lost (not knowing the pace, people, events, culture, etc.) and I accepted this fact. Very few people come into a situation and within two weeks have made a massive impact on an office. Be realistic about what you can accomplish and by when.
- Run Away: I have worked with clients who want to change roles in order to get away from problems at their current employer. Every role will have their challenges (personnel, regulations, annoying clients, strong personalities) – thinking that a change of venue will make all these go away is naive, every job will have its challenges and many times they are the same ones that your current role harbors. Embracing this fact makes the transition to a new role easier as you won’t feel blindsided when issues do crop up.
- Noggin: In my former role, I was very comfortable in my duties to the point where I may have begun to become a bit complacent about the status quo. The issues and problems were ones I could anticipate and knew how to handle (for the most part). In a new role, one will need to exercise one’s brain as the learning curve is present – with some new jobs having steeper learning curves than others. Using your Noggin to solve problems and think creatively can help you feel alive at work again. If you are finding yourself going through the motions at your job, a new role (internal or external) can help fire the synapses of your brain again…no need for an energy drink when this happens on a daily basis!
Thank you for allowing me to share my journey and experience. I hope some of the items shared over the past month have been useful in your unique situation. In the end, each person has a unique set of circumstances and must chart his or her own path; the path that is best for the unique individual. Best wishes in your own career pursuits and I look forward to sharing insights and advice in the future through this blog.
Go Irish and Go Tartans!