If you’re having second thoughts about your dream job, don’t give up until you’ve looked at this problem closely. Before you start reaching out to your network, take a moment to pinpoint exactly what the trouble is and see if you, or someone in the organization can fix it. You don’t want to walk away from a career opportunity prematurely. Here’s how to proactively approach this problem.
Get out Your Job Description
- Read through it again very carefully, but this time phrase everything in a question. For example, if your job description says, “Influences product development by identifying key market trends,” rephrase that to read, “Have I had opportunities to play a part in product development by giving my input?”
- Then make a list of the responsibilities you are most excited about, to least. Assign each a realistic percentage based on where you have spent the majority of your time. It may be that you devote the majority of your time to the item you liked the least. If you have no idea, then use a free tool like Toggl.com throughout your day, starting and stopping the timer with each specific task. After a week, you will have a highly accurate pie chart of projects and time spent on each.
- Make a table, like the one below, filling it with the job aspects that you really want to spend more time on. I filled in the first line as an example. The goal is to pinpoint exactly what you would need fully realize the functions of your job that you want to spend more time on. Make specific suggestions to find solutions. Remember, your goal is to do your job, not complain or vent. You can do this by starting sentences with “I need” and pinpointing exact solutions.
Go to Your Advocate
An advocate is a higher up in the organization that will listen to your concerns and take initiative to correct them, provided that you are not simply venting frustration at every opportunity. For an executive, an advocate is an influential member or members of the board of directors. Advocates make sure you have all of the tools and support you need to do a good job. Set a time to speak with your advocate, bringing your Toggl timesheet and table.
Next Steps for Change
Let’s go back to the first item on the table. You said you needed a budget for industry events and quarterly meetings to express your thoughts about product development. Give your advocate some space to process this and set a time to circle back around. Say something like; “I’d really like to register for that conference coming up in the next month, so I will check back in with you in a few days to see if that’s a possibility.” Or, “I have a lot of ideas I’d like to share with product development. Can we set a meeting for the first of the month so I can pitch some ideas?”
Whether or not you’re heard, or whether any changes occur, has a lot to do with company culture. If you just don’t like the job, but really like the company, human resources might be willing to shift you into another role. If you feel like the company lacks infrastructure and a clear chain of command that can provide you with the tools you need, consider other opportunities. How you leave, at that point, has to do with my next post.