One thing I know about Anne is that she hates going to work these days.
She likes the nature of her work. She loves dealing with customers. She loves attending to them and finding solutions to their issues.
Her problem is the constant re-organization at her company. It seems to have become the norm the last few years. Her role has been evolving; she now spends half her time doing other things that take her away from the customers.
She feels that her manager doesn’t recognize her strengths. Despite many emails from satisfied customers, she doubts that her excellent customer service approach is known, let alone appreciated.
When I asked her if she’s been looking around for opportunities elsewhere, where she can do what she does best, I heard a noncommittal response.
She updated her resumé, she said and spoke with a headhunter or two. She even went to one interview, which, unfortunately, didn’t go anywhere.
“It’s so hard,” she said, “to find a good job, where I can be happy.”
She fondly recalled some years ago, when her job responsibilities fit her like a glove, and she wished for that kind of work life again.
It stuck with me, what she said about how hard it was to find work where she can be happy. She sounded almost resigned. Like she’s given up on trying to find work she’ll actually like doing.
“At least I have a job,” she said.
It is true: It is hard to go out there, look for new work, and find a job you’ll love.
But isn’t it also hard to stay in a job where you feel miserable 80% of the time?
Isn’t it also hard to feel invisible, unvalued at the place where you spend five days of your week, at least (likely more than) 8 hours of your precious time each day, week after week?
All things being equal then if situation A and B were both hard, wouldn’t it make sense to go and do the one that has at least the chance of getting you to a better situation?
Change is painful. Growth is painful.
But nothing is as painful as staying somewhere you don’t belong.