Decades ago, I observed a phenomenon that was impacting the American work ethic, and today it has reached an alarming level. Growing up, I was taught work hard, stay focused, and success will come. But in college, I heard, “You will have an average of seven job changes in your career before you settle in.” It became evident to me that people were being made restless and the old adage, “The grass is always greener on the other side” became a mantra more than a warning. Now, we see employees and even business owners often looking at each job move as a steppingstone to something else and not as a long-term effort to achieve their goals.
I can tell you from firsthand experience that jumping from workplace to workplace or business to business often does not end well. Yes, there are early grumblings as we kick the tires on a career and see if it really for us, but I have found the sooner you dig in and make a real, long-term go at it, the faster your success will come. Real success does not happen overnight, and broken focus can keep us on the ropes – ever striving but rarely achieving.
Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly at first. Stay with it a while, and be sure before you move on. There are certainly times for change, but all too often I have seen people finding themselves in worse shape than where they had come from.
Whether you are in a job or own a business, before you start looking over the fence at the next best move, look in the mirror. Do some self-evaluation and take stock of your current position. If you are not happy, is it you and your performance or is it truly the position? Have you done your homework about moving on and losing all you have built (credibility, relationships, seniority, etc.) at the current organization? Have you sat with the owner of your company (or supervisor) to discuss the opportunities and your concerns? There may be some improvement waiting for you that will outweigh starting over.
Tip to entrepreneurs: employee retention needs to be a high priority in these trying times. Losing a good member of your team is costly and may be preventable. Keep the heart of your most valuable people in mind, and do your best to keep them. You’ll be doing them and your business a great service.
The words of wisdom, “The grass is always greener on the other side,” was never meant to be an enticement to jump ship, but a reminder of how things can often be deceiving when we stare at them long enough and doubt our current pastures. Whatever move you are considering, think it through carefully from every angle. Be sure it truly is taking you to a higher level in your work journey.