Commitment is a scary thing. Whether you are dating someone or thinking about getting married, no one likes to tie themself to something or to someone that is not considered a “sure thing.” You can count your career as the type of sure bet anyone would like to have. You may consider “dating” your job or perhaps entertain a few different job offers at the same time, but when it comes to your career, do you have what it takes to go the distance?
For a long time the term “consultant” or “freelancer” or “temporary” had a derogatory meaning. It might imply you were someone who floated from one thing to another, or you were not part of the inner circle and you were expendable or maybe even perpetually unemployed. Well being a full time employee these days holds much the same baggage You can offer yourself up as a “lifer” hoping to stay with a job until retirement whenever that is, or you can keep your options open. Knowing when it’s time to “play the field” when it comes to looking at your job options should occur naturally and just because you have the seven-year itch. You’ve got to know what you are worth in the marketplace but more importantly you have to able to know when it’s time to walk away from your job relationship especially when it’s no longer working for you.
Here are some helpful scenarios to consider when you are not sure whether you should continue to “date” or “marry” your job:
- Do you like the feeling of limitless boundaries, freedom of expression and the ability to call it like you see it without fear of retaliation or reproach?
- Do you enjoy the flexibility of knowing you can leave your job at anytime without feeling like you are betraying your boss or co-workers?
- Do you gain satisfaction from knowing people are actually listening to your opinions and your point of view holds value instead of worrying if you have jeopardized your position?
- Are you grateful you do not have to attend the obligatory team-building meetings, or company “bonding” sessions because you are seen as an individual contributor and not someone who needs to “fit in”?
- Do you like knowing that you can change jobs or work environments or simultaneously juggle many assignments without triggering a “conflict of interest” or that you are mutually exclusive to anyone?
- Are you able to call your own shots, choose your own work schedule and pick whom you would like to associate with at work?
- Do you like feeling that everyone is your client and that you do not have to play favorites in order to get ahead?
- Do you enjoy the challenge of knowing you are your own boss and you don’t need to placate anyone in order to get the corner office or a seat at the proverbial table?
- Isn’t it great to know that at the end of the day, you can leave your work at work and not let it plague you when you are on vacation or enjoying some private time with your friends and family.
- And finally, knowing all that you do, isn’t it time you were able to be your own boss when it comes to selectively working for a company or for individuals of your choosing without feeling like there is no way out?
When it comes to considering whether you are best suited for dating or marrying your job think about how you feel at the end of the day? If you feel you can’t wait to leave and are glad that you are able to move onto something else whenever you feel like it than you are probably someone who would not be happy no matter how big the engagement ring is. Knowing who you are and what makes you happy will ultimately make you a more valuable addition to any team whether the situation is “permanent” or not. And remember, there are no guarantees in life regardless of what your employment agreement says.
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