Nearly half of New Zealand’s working population thought about applying for a new job at the start of 2017, according to a recent survey. The top six reasons were: higher earning potential, trying something different, following an interest, better work-life balance, doing something I’m proud of, or progression.
Interesting that ‘bad boss’ or ‘my hopeless manager’ didn’t make the top six. Perhaps people instinctively consider that level of honesty to be potentially career limiting, even in a confidential survey. Or perhaps they don’t actually realise that their boss is the cause of their dissatisfaction.
A fair number of clients that come to me for career coaching are unhappy in their roles, but don’t immediately recognise that their manager’s lack of leadership or basic people management skills has had an impact. They are more likely to think they are just not good enough at their job or have made the wrong career choice.
I was speaking with the head of one of the country’s established employee assistance programme providers recently and he said: “How many books have been published on how to be a good leader and manager – yet poor people management is still the number one reason employees have issues at work”.
If you are thinking about changing jobs it’s really important to get to the root cause of your dissatisfaction. Then you can make choices based on what you want, rather than what you are unconsciously trying to escape from. When I work through this with clients, and we dig a bit deeper into their reasons for wanting to leave their jobs, they inevitably find that there is more to it than their original assumptions would suggest. And what we discover often makes a big difference to the decisions they might otherwise have made.
For example, could it be that you are miserable at work simply because your manager doesn’t have the skills to engage, motivate and lead, or is it that your skills, values, interests and strengths are just not the right fit for the role?
Here are five questions to start to test your assumptions:
1. Would you still want to leave if your manager was replaced with your ‘dream boss’?
2. If you had a manager that enabled you to play to your strengths, every day, would this actually be the right job for you?
3. If they increased your salary and employee benefits, would you still want to leave?
4. If you got promoted and recognised for your work, would that change how you felt about the role?
5. What would you miss most?
If you are still unsure, get in touch and we can uncover the real reasons for your dissatisfaction at work.
About the author: Lucy Sanderson-Gammon, MBA, is a Wellington-based career coach helping mid-career professionals who have fallen out of love with their jobs to find meaningful work. Find out more about Lucy's coaching services here.