Wright Foundation | June 18, 2015

Want to Change
Your Career?
First Change Yourself.

It’s quite common for people to question if their current career or job is the right fit. While online personality quizzes, career consultants, and tons of different tests may help steer you in the right direction, they’re not the answer—and you’ll still feel “off” at work.

Even if you’ve been told you’d make a great lawyer, maybe it’s not something you’re really interested in. “Finding the right career” is about the job, sure, but by and large the real question is: Are you the bringing the right person to the job?

Don’t Quit Your Job—Instead, Engage and Communicate

If you’re in a job or career path that you’re not 100% in love with, it’s often not the tasks or the office that bugs you. Instead, it could be that your personality or way of thinking doesn’t fit in with the job itself.

Generally, people who want to change jobs aren’t fully engaged and they aren’t communicating their issues with the right people. When going to work, you first need to become the right person for your job. Bring the right person to work and perhaps you’ll both thrive in your position and help the company become what it strives to be. Ensure you own your job fully—and then, be honest and communicate to your superiors about what’s actually making you unhappy at work.

Then, either the company changes…or they’ll “liberate” you (i.e. kick you to the curb) to find that next place to work, or someone else will discover you and recruit you into something else. Fully engage and communicate and the path will reveal itself.

As a Manager, How Do I Handle People Who I Don’t Think Are Right?

Supervisors can and should discuss job performance and personality with their employees. Be fully present with those underneath you and give full, yet constructive feedback. Record “work warnings” so you know what you want to discuss.

Remember that the word “friend” is not in the job title. Supervisors need to train and manage, ensuring the department and employees succeed. Coaching helps when it is constructive—and when done correctly. Be direct with employees but not cruel. Let them know about the company’s goals and missions and be clear about how they fit into the big picture.

What If I Need To Let Someone Go?

Liberating someone is one thing, but learning your own lessons is another. It may be easier to cut someone loose for a bogus reason, but it’s not fair to the person because it doesn’t allow him or her to learn what he or she could do better in the future. Plus, have you asked yourself what you could do differently as a manager to ensure future success? Are employees picking up skills? Do they own their work and the area they’re in? Are they coachable? Additionally, supervisors may feel guilt if their employees are not performing. This isn’t an efficient retention plan as it will only allow poor performances to continue.

If you really must deal with an employee’s negative behaviors, put them on plan: On the first offense, give a written warning stating his or her behavior or work performance issues. A second written warning should note the employee has 30 days to shape up or ship out. This is the only way to let the employee know if they’re right for their job—and this scenario may allow them to be liberated into a new experience.

Bring the Right Person to Work…and the Solution Will Arrive

Whether you’re an entry-level employee or an upper-level executive, the question “Should I change careers?” is not important. The key is discovering whether you’re right for the job. Ask yourself the important questions and bring your best self into work. By doing so, you’ll either thrive within the company, be liberated from your position, or be recruited into something else. Whatever the outcome, you’ll at least be able to learn and grow from your current position—as long as you fully engage.

Listen to this episode here on BlogTalkRadio or here on iTunes.
Check Out Lifestyle Podcasts at BlogTalkRadio with Wright Living on BlogTalkRadio.

Image courtesy: Flickr user 124247024@N07.

The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.