I was recently talking to a friend – a very talented and successful individual – about their job.
More specifically, about the company where they did their job.
As we were talking, it became apparent that their focus of the ‘good times’ was all spoken in the past tense, not the present.
Now you can argue that sentimentality always makes you look fondly on history, but in this persons case, it seemed it was less ‘rose tinted glasses’ and more fact.
Now there were very specific reasons for their past glories but what really struck me was how he didn’t see the future of his job – or the company where he did it – as offering a chance of reclaiming or redefining that situation.
If anything, the future looked bleak.
Sure, the area where they operate has evolved.
Sure, the management he works into has constantly changed.
Sure, the competition have upped their game so they’re no longer so far ahead.
Sure, the needs and wants of clients are almost unrecognisable from where it once was.
But you should never be in a situation where the past looks more exciting than the future.
Of course, you must evaluate whether it’s the company that’s changed or you [and that’s a post for another day] … but the fact is you can’t just sit there and complain, you have to try and do something about it.
Try things. Change things. Alter things. Explore things.
Fight … complain … try … inspire … push … prod …
And to be fair, that is exactly what my friend had done, so to help him work out what was going on, I asked him 3 questions:
1. Does the company value the same things today as it did in the glory days?
2. Are the standards of the company the same today as it was in the glory days?
3. Do your clients want the same thing today as it did in the glory days?
He answered them honestly and fairly to which I then asked him the ultimate question:
“Do you have the power to change the overall situation of the company or just your own personal situation?”
He didn’t like that question.
Not one bit.
Because he knew it was the ‘decider’.
If it was the former, then he should do it.
The beauty of business today is that there’s a chance to change your situation every day.
But if it was the latter, he knew it was time to start looking around.
He knew there would be no point carrying on. Job satisfaction was done.
I won’t tell you what he decided on the off-chance someone at his firm reads this blog – however unlikely that is – and recognises who I am talking about … and I accept finding another job, especially a job you are excited by, is getting more and more difficult … but here’s the thing:
I know that might sound like a pipe-dream … I know there’s massive of implications to achieving that and I am absolutely not suggesting anyone should just quit their job with nothing to go to … but the fact is if you’re going to spend more time at work than with your family, you deserve to feel some sense of fulfilment because nothing would be more insulting to the people you love than spending so much time away from them doing something you hate.
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