Frustrated in Your Career But Don’t Know if it’s You or the Job? Here is Step 1

One of the first things I ask a client to do when they hire me to help them strategize a career “facelift” is to make a list of everything they hate in a job.  I ask them to list the things that bother them most both in their current career and in places where they have worked in the past.  They are asked to go into depth with their list, naming things that they don’t like about the work itself, the people, the environment (both physical and company culture), and the money.  There is no item too small or too big.  After a week of crafting their exhaustive list, I ask the client to sort out the two to four deal breakers – those things that, if they knew they would be present in a new job or career, would cause them to turn down an offer.

It may sound a bit elementary, but this exercise does a couple of things.  First, it lets the client vent frustration, which is often needed.  Second, it brings to light what issues are critical and which ones are maybe not as intolerable as once thought. It also begins to clarify what is really bothering you and causing you to evaluate whether a career change is the solution you seek.

A deal breaker doesn’t have to be huge.  It may be something simple, like not being able to work in a cubicle or in an office with no natural light. If it is significant to you, then it is significant.  It may be something more personal, like not being able to work with a micro manager (I hear this one a lot!), which is much more difficult to spot before you accept a new position.  But often this one doesn’t have to be a deal breaker if you can develop your communication skills to deal with this personality type.

If you’re in a quandary right now about whether it’s you or the job, maybe you can begin by creating this list. At the very least, it is therapeutic!  If it sheds some light on your dilemma and you would like to proceed to the next step, please call (214-785-6330) or e-mail  ( me.  I can work through this process with you and help you stay focused on your goal, which is to make some solid decisions and move forward!

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