Archive for July, 2011

Unfulfilled in Work: Is it time to change jobs or your career?

If you’re feeling unfulfilled in your work, how do you determine whether a job change, a career change, an attitude change, or all three are in order?

Over the past decade Laurie has enjoyed a highly successful career in which she quickly moved up to a senior vice president’s position within her firm. When I first met Laurie, however, she sought career counseling because she was then feeling unfulfilled and discontent in her work.  At that time she was working as a social marketer with an international consulting firm.  As a social marketer, her job was to survey targeted market segments for client businesses to ascertain reactions to a particular product or a sales pitch.  That kind of research is essential to businesses for developing appealing products and in preventing major advertizing blunders such as GM’s disastrous experience in Latin America with the Chevy “Nova,” which in Spanish translates into “doesn’t go.”

Laurie assumed that the cause for her unhappiness was her career.  Why, she wondered, had she expended so much time and energy in this profession, only to become so dissatisfied?  Her counseling experience produced a surprising result, however: the cause of her discontent was not the fault of career choice.  Instead it was the nature of her job.  Her career was actually an excellent choice for her particular talents, interests, and personality.  While Laurie had been successful enough in her work, she just didn’t fit in well with her associates, “good-old-boys” who bonded together over talk of golf, babes, and other testosterone-energized topics of zero appeal to Laurie.  As a result she felt like an outsider, severely limited in her social interactions.  Additionally, she was an achievement-focused gal who, unlike her colleagues, put social contribution above personal ambition.  An attitude adjustment wouldn’t change the reality of her situation— there was little she could do to comfortably fit in.

The outcome of her counseling experience was that Laurie continued in her career as a social marketer but moved on to a new job with another firm.  Here, however, she was associating with a different type of colleague, individuals with whom she shared common interests and values.  Here, also, she was appreciated both for what she did and for who she was.  In this supportive environment she quickly progressed into an executive leadership position. Because of her assertive actions, she found a far more fulfilling situation in which to pursue her career.

It was in seeing the startling disparity between her Passion Revealer and Passion Distributor results that helped Laurie realized that a new job rather than a career change was the remedy for her discontent.*  Like Laurie, if you’re feeling unfulfilled in your current work, you may find the Passion Revealer a helpful resource in determining a suitable course of action. The results of this assessment process have been instrumental in helping hundreds of adults discover more suitable directions for pursuing their passion both in work and in life.

* The Passion Revealer profiles your deep-seated interests and the Passion Distributor shows how much of your time on the job corresponds to your Passion profile.

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