Posted on September 10, 2019
I am sat chatting via LinkedIn with a former colleague who has moved to a new role, primarily because they were not happy in their last role. That’s fair enough isn’t it?
This blog is about something dear to my heart. I wasn’t even aware, until the conversation over social media prompted some personal concerns/emotions about roles I have taken in the past.
We spend so much time working throughout our lives that it makes sense that we enjoy it; feel challenged by it; feel fulfilled by completing a good day’s work. Talking to my former colleague, I was told that the last role was “the worst job [they] have ever had”: no detail, but clearly, not fulfilling, challenging nor enjoyable.
So, why would you take a job purely for the money? ESPECIALLY if the money is not in line with what you should be earning? (See previous blogs). People need to earn money to survive and provide, I understand that, however, there is real value in getting something back for delivering services: getting something back over and above the wage or salary. So, what does that look like? What is that makes YOU content in a role? How do you make sure that you address this when you go to the interview for a role? Let’s first look at the components of a job/career that could form part of the enjoyment:
- Well Paid: This is the prime consideration in relation to rewards. It does concern me that many people leaving the Services do allow businesses to take into consideration their pension, or indeed take a lower paying job because they are getting a pension.
- Perks, Bonuses and Commissions: Some businesses have developed schemes to reward employees in more ways than the wage or salary. This shows that the Employer recognises and values the team working for them. Small things sometimes can mean a lot. The team leader buying pizzas on a Friday lunch time, the running of a President’s Club treating high performing individuals to a long weekend or holiday, an Employee Profit Share Scheme. All demonstrations of recognition.
- Challenge and Interest: As former serving, we enjoy a challenge. Don’t we? Isn’t that why we served in the first place. We need something that interests us and makes us want to turn up to work. If your current role provides neither of these, then I suggest that you are not enjoying your work life.
- Promotion Prospects: If you are the ambitious type, there could well be opportunity to develop within a company and grow into more senior roles. Having this environment is certainly worth considering for the right role. Companies that promote from within are great companies to work for, but obviously hard to get into at a reasonably senior level – this is where you consider your high value transferable skills and bring them out at interview.
- Teamwork: Working as part of a high performing team takes us back to our service. I am a great believer in building teams that deliver greater output than the sum of the individuals. It is amazing to see this in operation and it is satisfying to be a part of it.
- A Business Mission that aligns with your Personal Values: This is something that needs to be given some serious thought. I have worked in sales roles and the ones that involved selling tech that made people’s work easier, reduced costs, or mitigated time to market for organisations to whom I sold was important. I did take a job with a company that was renowned for selling poor quality services, delivered poorly and overcharged for the privilege, but only discovered once through the door. It made me feel dirty at the end of the day and I was only happy to leave – needless to say, my sales were not excellent and most days were fraught with conversations about JFDI!!
- Location(s): For some, this is a business just down the road or one that offers opportunity for travel nationally or internationally. Nevertheless, you must identify what works best for you. I have done both and these roles were pertinent to my circumstances at the time.
I am not suggesting that you need ALL of these boxes, but they certainly add to the value we place on our work. So, how do we identify the culture that we are stepping into?
In many ways, you can determine the culture of a business by asking questions around the subject. I recommend simple questions at interview such as:
“How long has your longest serving employee worked here?”
“What would you say is your percentage staff churn each year?” followed up by “Why would you say that is?” – In this case, if it is higher than 10% there could be some cause for concern.
“How long have you worked here and what keeps you here?” – if you have the courage!!
In any case, really consider what you do your job for and ask yourself why you stay in the job. If you answer yourself with honesty that it is not a great job and you are truly not happy there, then it could be time for a change.
If you need any support or advice on any of the above, then please do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.