In the job search process, the "grass is greener" syndrome is real.
I'm intrigued when people think they would be more satisfied with a different work environment. A new job and location will fix everything, they say.
The simple truth is we often overlook the negative aspects of a circumstance when we conduct our comparison. Also, we have the tendency to dwell on less than favorable things that affect us.
If you're gainfully employed and anxiously seeking a new job opportunity by leaving your company, you may want to read this before you depart.
First, I would suggest that you invest time researching opportunities within your company. If you're employed at a large company you might have a wonderful opportunity waiting on you there. Lexmark International, headquartered in Lexington, has over 10,000 employees worldwide and 2,154 locally. I conducted a search on the company's website and came up with 47 job postings in Lexington and 122 overall worldwide. Could this be the case for your organization?
Before you launch your job search within your company, though, check the company climate. This is vital and will be useful criteria when you are looking at future positions and companies. Take some time to reflect and examine the conditions of your place of employment — for example, the group dynamics, work load, handling of promotions, wages, vision/goals, work life balance, support, etc. Are there cliques within your company (i.e., select co-workers are connected on Facebook or LinkedIn, but you're not)? Do you have a good relationship with your supervisor and/or colleagues? What is important to you within your company? What can you do to contribute to the success of your company?
Networking with your colleagues is essential. It is estimated that more than 75 percent of job seekers secure employment through networking. I would think it's higher within your place of employment. Talk with key managers and/or leaders. Seek out people of influence within your company who can serve as coaches or mentors and more importantly, advocate on your behalf. Great companies rarely allow top talent to get away.
Do a self-evaluation. If you're not a top performer you should seriously work on that before you depart. Take time to seek feedback from your supervisor and colleagues about your competencies. It's priceless feedback to collect, and make the necessary adjustments before starting the new chapter in your life.
Seek out needed training or classes. Those skills could be key for securing your next position.
One of the most important things you can assess is your attitude. There are more dissatisfied employees than ever in the workplace and often you see them bouncing from job to job or drive away top talent.
Plan out your job search. I'm an advocate of developing and writing down your goals as well as action steps. The job search process is already overwhelming and this approach allows you to break up your search in steps.
Being organized will be important, keep you focused and allow you to track your progress. You should develop SMART goals, which are specific, measurable, achievable, reasonable, and relevant, as well as have a timeline for completion. I suggest that you commit to working on this type of job search bi-weekly and give it quality time.
It's important to be deliberate in your job search and fight the temptation of becoming anxious to leave. Don't become bitter. Become better. Don't get restless, but embrace patience and increase your focus in areas that are important (i.e., family, volunteer work, hobbies, etc.) to you while working. Look for individuals within your network that will encourage and support you to stay the course.
What you are doing in essence is planning and implementing your internal job search plan while 'fertilizing and watering' your work environment. Neil Barringham, manager of A Place to Belong, a mental health facility in West End, Australia, said it best: "The grass is greener where you water it."