Are you at a Career Crossroads? Business Etiquette

It is quite normal to have days when you dread going to work, days when you feel underpaid, unappreciated and resentful. However, if you are so bitterly unhappy at the office that it is spilling into other areas of your life e.g. your relationships or your health, heed the warning lights! You need to take stock and look at the signposts of the crossroad you have reached.

Ask yourself – “What am I dissatisfied with?” Is it …
•  Salary
•  Hours worked
•  Recognition
•  Advancement
•  Clash of Personalities
•  Job description/Responsibilities

Tick which of the above (if any) apply to you.

Don’t despair, your situation may be salvageable. Small detours/changes made now can make a dramatic difference to your current situation and how you perceive your job.

Apply the acronym ACNE to your dissatisfaction…

Accept – can you accept the current situation, conditions for at least another year?
Change – if not-can you ask to be moved to another department, branch, business unit?
Negotiate – can you negotiate better conditions, salary?
Exit – if none of the above can be done-you need to simply bid Bon Voyage!

How to navigate through the different areas of dissatisfaction:

• One of the main reasons for job dissatisfaction is a perception that you’re not being paid what you are worth. Jot down what you believe your raise should be.
• Do research on your current market value. Speak to the H.R department, canvass other similar companies, check out ads in the career section of the newspaper.
• Be objective – ask yourself – do my results/output for the last year warrant such an increase?
• Once you have come up with a figure you believe is your market worth – discuss at your next appraisal.

Hours worked
• Nowadays many companies encourage flexi-time. Does your job lend itself to you taking work home with you?
• Can you negotiate to come in earlier so you can leave earlier (avoiding peak rush hours)?
• You will never know if you don’t ask.

• Are you constantly updating your qualifications, by reading, networking, or studying further to increase your marketability?
• Does your company have a set plan for up-skilling/training its employees?
• Seek clarification on your advancement prospects from your manager. Be realistic and do be prepared to receive an answer that you may not expect or desire. At least you will have a clear idea of where your future lies – up, down or sideways.

180 Degree Detour

If nothing in the world could make you love your current job, then possibly you are in the wrong career. Perhaps you need to do a 180 degree detour. Before taking this courageous step consider the following:

• Will you have to study further? Do you require new skills? Can you cope with this financially?
• Try and utilise your existing skills in a different industry. Research thoroughly, joining relevant associations, reading, on-line research.
• If necessary take some leave and shadow someone actually doing your “dream job”. Many jobs loose their glamorous appeal when you are involved in the nitty gritty hands on stuff.
• Save as much money as you can to act as a buffer should you have to study further or need to take a salary cut. Could you use your pension fund payout to start your business?


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