Should I Stay Or Should I Go – Part II

Go. When I was a kid growing up in Cincinnati, I wanted to grow up to be an astronaut. My friend said he couldn’t wait to grow up and work for Procter & Gamble just like his dad. As I look back on it now, I find myself wondering whatever happened to that guy. His answer as a kid may have lacked imagination, or maybe he was just ultra-grounded.

Leadership expert, business coach, and friend Roz Usheroff, asked recently, “Is what we’re doing now for a living what we envisioned when we were young? When we were young and all things were still possible, how did we feel? Did we feel a combination of excitement and freedom? Did you possess an unencumbered perception of the possibilities that stretched out before us?”

Back then, nothing was out of the question and everything was likely within our reach.

Author Nathan Jamail noted, “If you take a room full of kindergarteners and ask them ‘who in here is good at painting?’ – almost 100% of the hands go up. Ask the same question to eighth-graders and about 40% of hands go up. When asked ‘who in here is good at painting?’ to college kids only 1-2 hands go up.” At what age did we stop believing in ourselves and start believing others telling us we weren’t good at something? We learned through parents, teachers, peers, and society things we are not good at doing. Our belief system shifts. Didn’t every child at some point hear – “don’t do that!” Probably for good reason – and some of us heard it a lot. We wonder why today we are so critical. We’ve had the smiles beaten out of us.

Children laugh 400 times a day and adults laugh 20 times a day. ~ Malcolm Gladwell.

Roz says, “Unfortunately, a side effect of our maturing process is that many of us lose our ability to dream – to seek out our own unique talents and capabilities and align our working life with who we really are and what we really want to do, rather than settle for what pays the bills!” Can we recapture a youthful enthusiasm and passion for what we currently do? Is it still possible to ignite an enthusiastic spark of endless possibilities and enduring personal satisfaction?  

Engagement is measured in how we feel Sunday night about going to work Monday morning.

Roz also recommended taking the following quiz and checking the score results to determine what course of action we can take to live the life we envisioned . . . the life we deserve.

  1. If you could go back and choose another profession or career path, would you?
  2. Do you often feel that your true talents and abilities are not being utilized to their fullest potential?
  3. Do you frequently feel like you are stuck in neutral in terms of being neither happy nor unhappy with your present job?
  4. If you had all the money in the world and could do anything you wanted, would you do something different?
  5. Do you execute your daily tasks out of a sense of responsibility and duty, as opposed to being energized and excited about each new undertaking?
  6. If you could easily and seamlessly move to a different company tomorrow doing the same job, would you?

If you answered YES to the first 5 questions and no to question 6, then you need to look at making a career change.

If you answered NO to the first 5 questions and yes to question 6, then you don’t need a new career – you need a new company.

Before we leave any job, we should take inventory and be grateful for who we are. Others may spend time preaching to you about what you are not, or maybe we preach those negative thoughts to ourselves. As we rediscover the gifts we have, we can try to explore and develop those right now where we stand. Our current role may be a laboratory for us to test our skills, passions, and uncover our greater value. Then as we learn and become more self-aware, we can define what we want and if it’s not here – then we need to go.

In the final job analysis simply, keep it easy – Run to something you Love, or From something you Hate. In the end, only we can determine whether or not we have compromised our talents and potential.

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” ~ Jimmy Dean


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