Many of the individuals I meet with are not engaged in their current career. They are looking for a new path, a new organization or even a new perspective.
Oftentimes during the course of our work together, there comes a time, when the question of a band-aid approach comes up. Should they take a new position in a short-term job as they work toward longer-term career goals?
Let’s talk about this!
When a Band-Aid approach might come into play
Sometimes clients want a complete career transition and that can take time. My career transition did!
When I decided to leave my corporate position for a career that focused on helping people, I knew my transition would take time. My transition included going back to school followed by a year-long internship.
Once I made up my mind to pursue my new career, I put the wheels in motion.
However, I had to wait.
I submitted my application to graduate school and had to wait to see if I could get in. So I decided on a band-aid approach. I accepted a position within my current organization where I could make an impact and help them move their projects forward.
Did this role get me closer to my career goals? No.
Was I engaged in my work? Not particularly.
Do my short-term careers take me off track from my longer-term career goals? No.
Did it meet my needs at the time? Yes.
Sometimes, as we focus on longer term goals, we need to take a new position or a new path in the short-term. At times it will move us closer to the goals, other times it will allow us to develop new skills, other times it will meet some more immediate needs.
When might a Band-aid approach might cause problems
Sometimes, you need to take a new position to meet a short-term need.
…like a need to leave a specific work environment
…or a need for security
…or need for extra income
That temporary position could help you move toward a longer-term role, or it could serve as a distraction toward the larger career goals. I have worked with clients who are seeking a more substantial career transition. Before they figure out exactly what they want to transition their career to, they take a new position.
This new position seemingly will offer them the stability they need to continue the inner work to identify the new position.
For some of these individuals, though, it distracts them from the longer-term work!
It consumes their time, their energy and their focus. When employing a band-aid solution, think about the impacts to the longer-term career goal and how that career management work is going to be weaved into a new job.
How will you find the time? …the energy? …the focus?
It’s important to think about that before the band-aid solution becomes another disengaging opportunity that causes you to seek another change. Short-term or band-aid solutions are often part of our career journeys. We learn from them and they can help us make progress toward longer-term goals.
It’s up to us to make sure the short-term fix doesn’t cause us to stray too far away from the work to find a fulfilling career path.
Amy Wolfgang is a career coach who founded Wolfgang Career Coaching and co-founded Coaching 4 Good. She brings over 15 years of corporate and coaching experience to help organizations boost employee engagement while simultaneously helping her clients excel in their careers. She is a certified PCM (Professional Career Manager) and has a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin.
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