Companies have the ability to terminate your employment for almost any reason, or sometimes for no reason at all (at-will states). Yet, when you are dissatisfied or unfulfilled, you stay. You feel obligated. You feel guilty. You don't want to disappoint. You'll sacrifice your happiness and desire to grow for that stability.
Employment is a two-way street, and it is important to remember that mutual respect, common goals and objectives, and reciprocal efforts are required for success.
Treat companies the way they treat you. You work hard to ensure their success. Are they doing what they can to enable your success? You are providing your time, effort and expertise. Are they providing you with the tools you need to accomplish your joint goals? They are reaping the rewards of success. Are you reaping rewards for your contribution to that success?
Corporations today have access to your social media profiles, whether they be LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram. They expect their employees to have high moral standards and to be the embodiment of the company they represent. We have all read the stories of someone acting publicly and socially unconscionable, resulting in termination even though the unacceptable behavior may have been completely irrelevant to the job or company.
Aside from the salary and benefits you may negotiate along the way, are you doing your due diligence to determine that this company is the right fit for you? Are they socially responsible? What do they stand for? Do they live and breathe their Mission Statement? Do they practice non-discrimination and inclusivity? Are they really EOE?
As it is with every relationship you enter into, it’s okay to change your mind once you have been hired if you don’t feel that there is mutual compatibility or connection. If after a few months of dating someone you realize that it’s just not working out, do you stay? Or do you cut your losses to find someone who is better aligned to your values?
Hopefully, and as it should be with every relationship you enter into, if you become dissatisfied because you are not challenged, or you see no future path, or you are no longer want to be in this committed relationship, first have the discussion to see how you may be able to help one another (think therapy) improve the situation. If all efforts are exhausted, consider and plan your exit strategy to the benefit of all parties.
It's up to YOU to maintain control of your professional future and choose the road you wish to travel. You owe yourself the opportunity to be happy and thrive, so remember:
Research as much as possible about the company – good and bad – and be prepared to have a discussion
Speak to current and former employees to get a better understanding of the company culture; what do they love about working there? What could the company improve upon?
Your job interview should also be a company interview. This is just as much about them finding their dream candidate as it is you finding your dream job.
Be prepared with questions about the company, it’s culture, it’s future plans and vision, the organization and the people with whom you will be working
What You Owe Yourself:
To make a commitment to yourself
To be happy in all aspects of life
To be in a career which provides you with fulfillment
To be successful
To maximize your strengths, skills and experience
To be in a mutually respectful relationship
To be honest when you find yourself dissatisfied, which can lead to:
- Feelings of stress, anxiety
- Physical and emotional illness
- Lack of motivation to go to work
To give yourself permission to make the best change for you, without guilt.
To seek and discover the right career for you
Employment is a two-way street. No company has autonomous rights to your career. If you feel it's not working out, have the confidence and courage to turn the car around and head in a new direction. A new opportunity, better suited for you, awaits.