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Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna to your job
Nisha Bhardwaj a 26-year old business analyst with a consulting firm in Delhi, says, "I was always struggling to meet deadlines and often ended up working on weekends. I decided to leave my job to get away from the pressure, only to see my past repeating itself. A discussion with my new boss made me realise that the real issue was my poor time management skills. Unless I improve on that front, I will continue to feel overworked in any job."
Nisha represents a trend among young professionals these days, to jump from one job to another without trying to address the root cause of dissatisfaction.
While your reasons could include a bad boss, lack of appreciation, no promotional opportunities or too much work, there are always ways in which you can re-ignite the passion in your current job and never say 'alvida' to it.
Do you feel stuck with no hope of promotion? Do you fail to see any job you'd like to do next? If that is the case, you may want to discuss this with your boss.
� Make sure your boss feels the same way about your performance. There are times when our view of our own performance is very different from the way others look at it.
� Ask your boss if you could make a horizontal move to another department. A lateral move could perhaps provide you with the intellectual stimulation you are looking for and open doors for a future promotion.
� Volunteer for new projects and assignments. Most organisations value initiative and people who want to continue to learn and grow.
� Consider swapping assignments with a colleague who feels like you do about the job (do get your boss's approval for this).
This is the most common reason why people leave. If your boss is just plain nasty and snobbish, leaving may seem like a good idea. However, there are other managers who may be failing to provide you with a sense of direction, involving you in decisions, appreciating your efforts or partnering with you for your growth within the organisation. Consider the following:
� Communicate your concerns to your boss. Many people don't realise the impact their actions create. Others just don't care. Even bosses need to be told; don't assume they know exactly how you feel.
� See if you can be transferred to a different department. Try to remove yourself from the manager's influence if the relationship is badly strained.
� If you are planning to leave anyway, you have little to lose. Talk with your manager's boss or the HR department to see if they can intervene and bail you out.
Your organisation may be following a 'lean & mean' staffing model, trying to achieve more with fewer employees.
� Get some data about your daily productivity ie number of hours you spend at work, number of days you have to do overtime, having to work on weekends, etc.
� Present this evidence to your boss and suggest options like hiring a new resource, getting a part-time resource or an intern to assist you, identifying redundant and mundane tasks that may be eating up your time and delegate them to a colleague.
"Duplicating and redundant work can be completely avoided by discussing and brainstorming options with a senior colleague. Young people often keep their frustrations to themselves and feel insecure. Open communication can not only solve problems but also help in retaining employees," says Delhi-based Abbas Rizwi, director, Eternity Training and Placements.
Do not crib about your problems. Instead, present facts about how the extra work is affecting your work-life balance and also impacting your motivation levels.
You put in a tremendous amount of hard work, but to no avail. Your office doesn't seem to care and you feel unappreciated.
� Speak to your boss and get his or her inputs on your performance. Tell the boss you'd like to sit down with him or her regularly to obtain feedback, both good and bad, so you can improve.
� 'What goes around comes around'. Make it a habit to appreciate others and celebrate their achievements. Your colleagues and boss will reciprocate this emotion as well.
� Sometimes, feeling unappreciated has to do with money. Analyse market trends for the average industry salary for your profile. If you feel you are underpaid, have a discussion with your boss and present any facts you can to support your claims. Follow up to make sure it happens.
Do you dislike your daily tasks and the content of the job? It's good if you have realised you are in the wrong career or job. At least now you can do something about it. Consider these options:
� Revisit your career history, think of events or occasions when you received maximum appreciation and felt satisfied.
� Evaluate your educational background. See if you have the credentials in place for the career you are aspiring for. If you feel an MBA is a must for an HR opening, work towards it and request an inter-departmental transfer.
� Revisit your career every six months and evaluate your key skills. A lot of people don't know what their strengths are unless they are told. Speak to colleagues and friends and get their feedback about what they view as your strengths.
"Young professionals today are looking at making a quick buck, things like career enrichment and job satisfaction are lower in the priority list. This results in frequent job hopping," says Noida-based M S Ramesh, senior HR manager with NTPC.
You love the job but hate your colleagues and peers. Just ensure the following:
� That the dissatisfaction is not stemming from your own insecurities. Often, our unhappiness is inside us and has little to do with the actions of others.
� Analyse your own actions. Do you, for example, repeatedly start a new task but quickly lose interest and become disillusioned? If you spot a trend, the unhappiness may be internally generated. If the unhappiness is inside you, only you can make certain changes to your behaviour to make your job interesting.
� See if you can control any aspects of the job that are bothering you. Perhaps listening to people complain or spreading rumours is spoiling your day. Stay out of there for a while to see if your outlook improves.
Let leaving the job be the last resort you turn to. It is better to work towards strengthening a relationship and sustaining it, than to break away completely.
-- The writer is a training consultant and freelance writer based in New Delhi.
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