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Holiday over? Going back to the same work feels depressing?

Often having time away from work, gives us the time to re-evaluate and assess our sense of fulfilment in our work and whether our needs are being met. This often results in a feeling of dissatisfaction in our work and a desire to try something new.

Before handing in your notice there are a few things to consider:

1. Determine what is the underlying reason for your desire to change.

Once you know this you can determine if improving the situation is

a) within in your control

b) able to be influenced

c) neither able to be controlled or influenced

Changing jobs just because you have lost interest can create ‘job hopper’ status and can put other employers off. Understanding why you feel unsatisfied in your work will allow you to identify the best course of action to remedy the situation. It may not necessarily be moving to another company.

2. Have a real conversation with yourself and ask yourself “Is there anything I am doing that is contributing to the current situation? Can I do things a different way to improve how things are progressing?”

Be honest… sometimes we sabotage a job because we feel it is pushing us outside our comfort zone or is not challenging us enough. Or maybe the expectations being placed on you are not in balance with your personal goals. Have a conversation with your manager and discuss possible solutions or opportunities within the company that would create a better balance for you.

3. Check to see if there may be other opportunities within the company that you could move into. Often the easiest way to move up in your career is to secure a promotion within a company that you have already proven yourself in. Other employers look on this favourably and it will boost your chances of future advancement with other companies.

4. If the issue is a personality clash, then there are a number of approaches you can take, to resolve the differences without resorting to resigning.

A particular favourite of mine is a a fairly clinical approach to resolving disputes:

a) Avoid discussing the issue with other colleagues – avoid recruiting ‘allies’ amongst your co-workers, as this can escalate the issue rather than resolve it. It can make it more difficult to fix the situation.

b) Do not respond immediately to the person who is irking you – by not responding immediately you give yourself some time to think through your response and this pause may cause the other person to think that you are backing down and they will begin to de-escalate.

c) Look in the mirror – is there anything you are doing that may be feeding the situation? What can you do differently that will make things better?

d) Reframe the situation – rather than focusing on the aggressive behaviour, picture them as a child having a temper tantrum. This will help you to take a step bac and not engage.

e) Focus on their strengths and what they contribute to the team. Keeping your focus on the positive helps you to maintain control over the situation and less likely to succumb to the negative of the situation.

f) Use cooperative communication – Say things such as “I’ve noticed that we seem to have differences. I have some ideas about how we might be able to work together more effectively, and I would like to hear your thoughts”. Invite them to be a part of the solution and really listen to their ideas. As my mother used to always say, “if you don’t have something positive to say, don’t say anything at all”.

g) Document all interactions in a neutral manner – It is important to keep track of the confrontations. If you are not able to de-escalate the conflict early on, take the issue to your immediate supervisor or someone in your HR department and have a neutral party mediate the situation.

5. The reality is that, as you progress in your skill set and personal / professional development, sometimes a company is unable to offer you what you need in a job anymore. Be sure to always exit a company in such a way that it doesn’t burn bridges. You never know when that relationship can cross your path again in the future and having them as an allay rather than adversary is a far better option. Aside from the fact that you may need to use them as a referee now or in the future.

If you feel that a change is the best option for you, having a professional CV that showcases your skills and experience, is essential in ensuring you move into the right job to fit with your needs and goals.

Need assistance? Feel free to contact me to discuss where you are at and how I can help you get to where you want to be.

Anita Smith

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