“You are not your job.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
That said, fortunately or unfortunately we are in jobs – both as source of financial remuneration and to satisfy our ‘contributionary’ value for the society. However most of us not so happy with their jobs. Here are some factors you could consider whether to stay or not to stay in a job:
- Who’s your boss? It doesn’t matter who you or what you do – all that matters is your immediate boss a.k.a manager/ supervisor. He or she can make hell or heaven out of your job. Period.
- What is your company’s mission? Can you connect with the grandeur mission of the organisation? It’s usually the founder’s. Stay if it fits your current aspirations.
- Can you understand language of the company? It is sort of finding a cultural fit. But best way is to see the language people use
- How about your colleagues? Where do they come from? Their background? Elite/ Middle/ Lower middle class? Urban or rural? It seems to matter, at least for me. I heard an organisation – an education company, where only engineers are valued; a non-engineer may not survive there. Another organisation, I know, recruit only agriculture graduates, others only social work graduates – though no special expertise is required. Like consulting firms filled with graduates from top institutions. And so on.
- What is your ideal day in office? Not a hypothetical one, but a real one – when you felt accomplished and appreciated. Did it involve travelling or sitting in the office? Did it involve working in teams or was it a solo affair? Which one did you find comfortable and successful? It will help define the job type for your personality.
- This might be odd. But find a company that has people with skills different than you. I am geek and I hate selling and networking. So if you are geek like me find a company that would value your geekiness and complement by having a strong sales force.
- Find a company that has less and less competition for your skills. It might sound counter-intuitive. But for me it greatly removes stress to compete and provides enough space for creativity. I’m and like to be the go-to guy when it comes to certain areas of expertise I keep on leveraging this advantage and make myself valuable in the company. And also it’s fun to learn and work with others who are different from you.
- Purposefully under-perform in areas you might not be good at or more importantly you can do but don’t want to do. I learnt this neat trick from a friend who refused to take a shitty managerial role and hence performed at lower than expected level of performance. But he made himself valuable in other areas and so company retained him.
- Never ever feel you are underutilized. I used to feel that. Until I got other but interesting things to do – like blogging and raising a family. Realize that you are not your job description. This is the only job that would satisfy you, your ego or fulfill your potential. Do other things – both for muse and money. Peter Drucker suggests finding at least one interest/ hobby outside one’s primary area. James Altucher says an average multi-millionaire has at least 7 sources of income. Do a side business or help your friend’s business – you might learn something or even earn a side income.
- Ensure that your job allows time for your family. Vacation, holidays – do not compromise on that. A job that gives you time and space for rejuvenation.
- Different people value different things in their jobs. Some value safety and security; others prefer a big brand name or be comfortable working in a known place with known set of people. So what do you value? For me it is being grounded and making directly impacting a poor communities. So find yours.