Tired and unsatisfied? Know the right way to reboot a career

Business Coach Jerome Hartigan
Tired and unsatisfied? Know the right way to reboot a career

Are you sabotaging your career and feel stuck in the same old same old? Is it time for a change?

A recent Harvard Business Review article states that of the 313m LinkedIn members, 25% are active job seekers. Furthermore, 60% can be considered passive job seekers.

Feeling discontented or unsatisfied with our jobs can be a normal thing, but what are some signs it could be time for something different – a new job, a change of career direction, a fresh start?

REDnews asked Auckland Business Coach Jerome Hartigan for his insight.


The brutal truths

Before making a serious decision like changing a job, let’s get really clear on what’s going on. Let’s look at the brutal facts. This analysis helps to shift the decision-making mode from emotional to rational.

Look to yourself. Is the problem about the job, or other people, or is it you (and your conditioning)? As the saying goes “Before things can change…I need to change.”

Auckland Business Coach Jerome Hartigan

Business Coach Jerome Hartigan

Many people change jobs and end up in a similar situation because they have not resolved a personal challenge they were unwilling to face.

You need to be clear on what’s not working with your current role and what needs to improve, and make sure that a new role will meet these needs. Even more important, you need to know your life’s purpose and direction.

So if you’re really up for this, start by writing your epitaph. I know this seems brutal but it clarifies things. When you ask “What would I like my grandchildren to remember me for?”, this gives great clarity focus and direction. It also helps to answer other key questions such as:

  • What is my purpose in life?
  • What are my core values?
  • What are my innate abilities?

Until you answer these important questions, changing a job, business, relationship, or country is likely to be an emotional decision. Emotional decisions without analysing the facts can land you back in similar circumstances in the next job.

Getting clear on your life purpose and direction is a great basis for setting personal career goals. Then you can look at what job or business would work for you and you can start making a rational, information-based decision.


Are you a misfit?

Many people stay with a job or a business too long.

They stay well after they have lost passion for the role, no longer growing or learning. They may even have a serious values clash with a business partner or boss and be unmotivated and uninspired.

Sometimes the issue can also be a misfit of skills, such as a technical person attempting to manage people, or a people person in a technical role. Strangely sometimes people won’t see this themselves so if you see a friend or colleague in a misfit role do them a favour and tell them.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I passionate about what I’m doing?
  • Am I growing?
  • Am I learning?
  • Am I contributing?

If the answer to any of these questions is “no”, then talk to people around you and get some insights. Keep probing till you get satisfactory answers.


Fight the fear

Fear is the greatest inhibitor of human initiative. It paralyses and sabotages decision and action, and side effects include numerous rationalisations about why you should not change.

The best cure for fear is to talk with people who can shed some light on your situation. Work with a mentor or a coach and get clear on what’s not working for you, and, more importantly, what you really want. Once you have clarity around the facts, then fear often reduces and you can make a more thoughtful decision.

Jerome Quote

Find the right fit

Once you’ve identified your life purpose, your values and goals, and your unique skillset you’re in a position to scope out the ideal role for you.

Your new role should grow you personally and professionally. It should be a fit for your skillset and enable you to further hone your skills, possibly specialising further, making you more desirable and in demand.

Values are important. Top-down micromanagement with old-school values is rapidly being replaced. As we evolve our values as a community, what’s emerging are various forms of bottom-up management, self-managing teams, and servant leaders. See Frederic Laloux’s book ‘Reinventing Organizations’ for more on this.

In short

  • Take advice when considering changing jobs. Alone we’re likely to make emotional and perhaps arbitrary decisions. Use a mentor or a coach who can help you to see the brutal facts clearly.
  • Get very clear on your goals and what you want and don’t want from your next role. Get very specific about the criteria you are looking for. Maybe this might be further leftfield than you’ve dared look before.
  • Once you’ve marshalled the facts, taken advice, and made your decision, take systematic action to achieve the best outcome.

Jerome Hartigan is a professional Business and Executive Coach working with owners and executives of small to large business in New Zealand and internationally.