Even executives don’t get it right every time. You thought this was a good move and even the research indicated you were a perfect fit for the position. But, as the job unfolded, you are no longer enamored with the position or company. Richard (from a famous Shakespheare play) might say, “Now is the winter of my discontent.”
5 signs that point to discontent:
- 1. Feel like an outsider?
Holding an executive role in any organization can create a division between lower and upper level employees. However, even an executive needs to be acknowledged as part of the team, and connect with peers and coworkers. Are you just showing up at the office, doing your job, and going home? Are you having a hard time bonding with others in the work environment? Examine carefully if the disconnect is your choice or a mismatch with the company culture and staff. Productivity and long-term happiness is largely attributed to having friends at work and being connected in some way.
- 2. Overwhelmed?
Everyone feels overworked at some time in their career, and it seems more so lately with companies expecting employees to take on multiple roles rather than hiring new staff. But if you are noticing that you are feeling depressed or anxious, agitated or emotional more than normal, this could be a sign that you are in the wrong job. Sometimes executives just brush these feelings off knowing they have experienced them before, or knowing they can just work through the stress. When you begin to notice these feelings start trickling into your personal life and affecting others, then you need to ask yourself, “when is enough, enough?”
- 3. Stagnated?
It’s wise to always be thinking of what’s next in your career. By taking that approach you will not stall your career. What does that mean? If your current position is underutilizing your skills and talents you may not be making headway in your accomplishment-based contributions, learning new technologies, etc. It could be looked at as a step backwards on the resume to a future employer. At the very least, keep up with continuing professional development and industry associations to stay on top of changes and new
- 4. No growth or development?
Is your job at a dead end? No place to move up or chance to move to another department for new learning or a challenge? Are you satisfied with status quo? Knowing you have an internal opportunity to aspire to is in itself a motivator to most executives. If that doesn’t exist, where will you go next? Unfortunately executives experience this scenario more than others in the work world. They are at the top of the pyramid, and often times there is nowhere left to go in an organization unless someone else leaves. Continuing professional development outside the company may be an alternative to keep up skills, as well as develop new talents for future opportunities.
- 5. Regrets?
I had a client who worked for a toilet manufacturer. He is a top-level sales executive, motived his sales team, and consistently exceeded sales projections. What he found out about himself was that working for a toilet manufacturer just wasn’t aligned with his executive sales image. Friends made jokes like, “that must be a shitty job,” and this bothered him. After about a year, he chose to leave this position and landed a job in an industry that better suited his personality. Point here is that you should be proud of the company you work for, and products you represent to gain maximum satisfaction.
The typical job cycle is about 3 years. Picture a line on a graph. The first year there is the learning curve that shoots up the graph as the employee gets settled into the job and learns the lay of the land. The second year the line flattens out some as most of the learning has taken place in year one and it is a matter of maintaining status and introducing a few new ideas into the mix. In the third year the line on the graph could start heading down if nothing new has been introduced such as responsibilities, challenges, promotion, etc.
Getting back into job search is always a challenge, however, the results could be worth it if you feel strongly that any of the five signs indicated that you may be in the wrong job.