Job Search – Listen to Your Heart As Well As Your Head and Well-Meaning Friends
During a very long career I made three career moves that were a mistake. Now, I was very lucky because I was able to find a way out and each, in turn, led in a new and more fruitful career direction. But it was luck and there is no guarantee that making my mistakes will work out well for you.
So what did I do that was so wrong? Well I took jobs that I knew in my heart of hearts were not right for me. I did not listen to my intuition and I ignored what, in my mind, I knew to be wrong. The common feature of all three incidents was that I was being offered a role that flattered my ego. Each was not right in some key area, but they were all well paid, high-profile roles that would have increased my promotion opportunities. Friends advised me that I would be foolish to reject each one.
One role meant taking on a senior technical role for a manager with whom I found I had communication difficulties. I knew I would enjoy neither work, nor the relationship. The second role was in a small, elite team who were well-known for their combative approach and the third would have meant frequent long hours of travel and life in a suitcase for most of the year. All of these roles would have been great for someone else. For them, there would have been enough pluses to balance out the minuses. But not for me!
I took on each one, even though I knew at interview stage why they were not right. I listened to my chums, ignored my feelings and, sometimes, my common sense. I worked hard to convince myself that I could cope. And, of course, I paid the price. Now I could do each job well enough; that wasn’t the difficulty. The problem was that I was very unhappy – the roles were not right for me. And after a while that unhappiness undermined my morale and performing well became a real challenge.
As I said above, I was lucky and managed to find a face-saving way out of each job. But it meant my career took some very unusual twists and turns. For me, all worked out to the good. But I was very, very lucky. The approach I took is not one I would recommend to anyone else. It would have been much better to listen to what both my head and my heart were telling me at a much earlier stage. You can’t plan your career on the basis that one lucky break, let alone three, will come along to save you from the results of a wrong judgment call.
Wendy Mason is a career coach. She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life. Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR. She now divides her time between coaching and writing. You can contact Wendy at firstname.lastname@example.org and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com