You haven’t been at your new job for a full year, but you’re already thinking about jumping ship. Before you quit your job, reevaluate your frustrations and goals with just three tips.
For most Millennials, finding your first job is an exhilarating experience. But what happens when you’re ready to move on after six months, or a year?
Or worse yet: after week one?
Maybe the role you envisioned doesn’t live up to the reality of the job. Over the course of a year, you may have experienced a steep learning curve while struggling to adapt to office norms and your boss’s expectations. It’s not that you despise the work, necessarily, but something’s just not clicking and you feel that your time and talent would be better spent elsewhere.
But if you leave after just a brief time on the job, what will your next employer think? Have you truly explored every effort to reconnect with your role, your team and organization? Is there anything you can do, in your current position, to reignite the spark that initially attracted you?
1. Define success for yourself
If you’ve found yourself facing the Millennial blues, it’s important to reflect on your career aspirations.
Start by writing down your definition of success. Doing so will help identify the criteria you look to achieve in your professional environment; but, more importantly, it will help identify areas of opportunity that you might be overlooking.
Success isn’t achieved overnight, but certain skill sets can move us down the path towards greater successes. Have you recently submitted your first analysis from a sales report, written your first PR release, effortlessly delivered a presentation to a new group, closed a deal, or sent an email to someone in the organization that you’ve wanted to meet?
Those should all be acknowledged as successes. These nuggets that you’re achieving will lead to bigger and better things.
2. Reflect on the disconnect
Next, reflect on when and why you became dissatisfied with your position.
When you were offered the job, there was something that convinced you to accept. What was that? There’s no right or wrong answer. By identifying what drew you to the position in the first place, you might be able to refocus on the positives. It may remind you of your initial goals and ideas that you had hoped to tackle.
Certainly, your job may be more challenging than you initially imagined, but your ideas are still worthwhile. Sometimes, in the monotony of daily business, we lose our motivation and it may seem like the position has failed to meet our expectations. But maybe it’s the other way around: Maybe you’ve lost focus and need to gain it back!
Make a list of pros and cons of why you accepted this job offer. Put an asterisk next to the ones that you’ve yet to achieve, and set your sights on accomplishing them.
Have a conversation with a mentor, sponsor or a confidante about other roles and departments in the organization that could be better aligned with your ideas, interests and strengths.
You always want to make the best effort to explore other roles in the organization before walking out the door. The culture and opportunities could be completely different just down the hall, and you’ll miss out on the benefits of developing broader expertise if you don’t consider those options.
3. Capitalize on your current position before you jump ship
The third step is applicable once you make the decision to move on to another role or company. You must consider how you can capitalize on your current position in order to transition into your next position.
Think of everything you do on a daily basis, from interacting with customers to sealing packages and everything in between. Have you mastered every aspect of this position? Have you asked to shadow a cross-functional team so that you can learn a new skill set?
Everything you learn in this position will be an asset in your next position, and there is always something to learn. Work to expose yourself to all aspects of this business while you are a part of it. You never know what projects, business processes and initiatives may interest you or might be useful down the road.
Finally, get involved with your community and passions outside of your day job. We tend to have multiple layers of interests and are motivated by using a diverse set of skills. It’s almost impossible to find a one-size-fits-all job that encompasses everything we want to do, so it’s a smart move to keep those interests alive elsewhere.
Serving on a non-profit board, volunteering, writing a blog and traveling to learn about new cultures are all ways you can keep yourself relevant and engaged without depending solely on your employer to do so.
Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll bust out of those Millennial blues in no time at all.
How have you deal with a job you’re just not loving anymore?
Joan Kuhl is a co-author of Peter Drucker’s Five Most Important Questions and Founder of Why Millennials Matter. She is a research fellow at The Center for Talent Innovation, a career expert for Barnes & Noble College, and serves on the Cosmopolitan Magazine Millennial Advisory Board.