Wasted Talent. Sadly, I see it every day in the business I’m in.
When I hear about how troubling the workplace has become, and specifically the toxic cultures and environments some people work in, I get knots in my stomach. As a resume writer and career counselor, I often find myself serving as a trusted confidante and advisor. Many times that translates to hearing the dirty secrets about the abhorrent lack of leadership, the narcissistic, egomaniac supervisor, and inept managerial incompetence in the workplace.
It’s simply part of the territory that comes up when you meet new clients and ask, “Why are you job hunting?” After all, there’s always a reason for leaving, right? Moreover, that statement that needs to be crafted just right for the recruiters and future employers that will be screening you. I’m sure you catch my drift . . .
More often than not, people simply want to throw it all away and start fresh. I hear comments like “I need to get out of this job,” or “I can’t stand this industry, the boss, or the leadership,” or even “I want to do something completely different.”
About half of the time, it’s not the job or the industry. Rather, it boils down to a company’s leadership, a manager or company culture. What if you could take the same job functions and responsibilities and work in a supportive environment? Might you be happier? I’m not saying it’s a simple fix, but sometimes a change of scenery is all it takes.
Sadly, some people jump ship before they do a complete and thorough evaluation of their situation. Without any insight into what went wrong, they end up jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.
Right now, I’m working with many clients who jumped ship or want to jump ship. One moved on because he thought there was no possibility of advancement at one of the largest Fortune 500 companies out there, because he got turned down for several internal jobs. Another took a $20K raise at a smaller organization and ran with it, only to find that no one even says good morning when she walks through the door at 8:00 a.m. Yet another client now finds herself working 60+ hours a week for what she thought was her dream company, but according to management, that’s not enough time spent doing the job. Now she fears for her job every day, even though she’s a top performer.
The question you have to ask yourself is, How long can you run on this treadmill? How can you possibly sort through the chaos when you are working 50 to 60+ hours per week, drained, exhausted, and depressed about where you are working?
The good news is that there are wonderful career counselors and coaches out there just waiting to help you move on to your next adventure. Most counselors and coaches provide counseling sessions by phone, over Skype, or in person.
A good counselor or coach can offer a third-party perspective and provide a supportive environment where you can freely talk about your issues. They help prioritize your personal and career issues and make you think about your timing. They can also get you out of your circular pattern of getting nowhere. Counselors and coaching can provide validation on your strengths and development needs as well as give you feedback and support when you’re getting “beat up” on the job. Where do you find these coaches? The International Coaching Federation has a fantastic website and plenty of resources for you to get started.
Bottom line: everyone has barriers to work through, but trying to do it alone can be extremely painful. Take action and control of your career planning by getting some career counseling and career confidence. It could be the difference between waking up and looking forward to your life or feeling as if you’re wasting your talent.