I’m sharing a guest blog that offers an excellent alternative to those who think that leaving your job is the only option.
– Coach Wolfgang
The grass always seems to be greener on the other side. You find a new job posting and immediately imagine all the ways it is better than your current job. You get called in for an interview and you start to do your research. The interview goes well but you are exposed to a number of challenges that you’d face in this role. Now you aren’t sure if changing jobs is worth it. You are comfortable where you are and while you have issues at least you know what they are and how to deal with them.
You have a third option
You are torn. It’s important to start assessing the pros and cons of each job. One option that many people don’t think about is this: can I change my current job to have all of the positive things I like about the new job?
This third option has the potential to be the best of both worlds – some of the exciting parts of the new job and the comfort and familiarity of your current job. So how do you transition your current job to match a new one? There are two parts: 1) figure out what responsibilities you want and 2) incorporate them into your daily routine.
The responsibilities you want
The first part isn’t hard. Identify the responsibilities in the job description for the new job that you want in your current job. Also put down the responsibilities you thought of when you initially saw the job description. Don’t alter these responsibilities to “fit” your current job – these should be what you REALLY want to work on. Of course, don’t start listing Vice President responsibilities when you are merely trying to become a manager. Start with a job description that is a reasonable target for you.
The second part is harder despite how easy it is to say: just start doing it! No formal announcement… no big master plan. Just get started by adding one or two items to your day and go from there. At some point, you will stop in your tracks during this exercise and think about one of the following:
- I’ll never be allowed to do these things.
- I don’t have time to do these things.
- Another team handles those things.
There are other thoughts that may stop you in your tracks so here are four tips I suggest for pushing through those barriers and the associated fear.
Doing your work is important but improving your work or making it more efficient is even better. Use those job responsibilities to identify areas that your team isn’t doing or needs to get better at. Chose projects that you will make you look smart, not just hard working.
Bosses love initiative
Your boss will love to see you take initiative and, even better, have an impact on your boss’s team. Regularly communicate your progress on these initiatives and explain why you are doing what you are doing. Plus, document all these initiatives so you can bring them out during your annual review!
Don’t ask for permission
Here’s the real key: you don’t need to tell your boss you are going to do these great things, just show up with them already under way. Announcing anything too early will just get your boss to put the kabash on your initiative. However, if he or she sees you working and making progress, they are unlikely to get in the way.
Put the tasks aside
Since your current job isn’t changing you are going to have a tough time finding time to take on new items. Here’s where you may have to make a pretty big mental shift. You need to put your new responsibilities ahead of those urgent but unsubstantial tasks on your plate. If you put the tasks first then you won’t actually get to initiatives that will make your job more enjoyable. So push your email away for a few hours, decline some meetings and don’t answer the phone every time it rings. Don’t feel bad about it – you are doing your company, your boss and you a favor!
Don’t be deceived here… it’s a lot of work to make changes to your job and your routine. Don’t overthink it but, rather, jump in! Finally, know this: when you take on bigger initiatives and responsibilities, you will change many things about your current job and all of them will positively impact your career!