You know those days when you leave work after another long day, you retreat home in what seems like a never-ending commute, and the thought crosses your mind, "when the hell did work become so boring!” Like seriously, so boring. The worst! You are living out the same routine as you did the day before. The entire day flew by, and you realized there was no excitement. No new experience. Nothing note-worthy to share. You didn’t have time to grab lunch away from your desk. And there’s not a chance the people you interacted with were rainbows and unicorns.
More like fruit flies and Jeopardy reruns.
If you can relate (I know you can) just know you are not alone. I chat with people every day who are looking for new opportunities and when I ask what’s their “WHY”? Why are they leaving? They all respond they WANT more. They want something new, and different, and better. They are tired of their monotonous work schedule and routine. They want more! The people want more! You want more!
Immediately my empathy kicks in and I feel I need to help them get more --chase more--find more. I feel I owe it to them… However, is this “WHY” enough?
So, last week I had over a dozen phone screens where candidates confidently responded they--
“haven’t received a bonus in several years”, “worked for a company that refused to promote them”, “wanted a job that paid more money” …
These are common responses a hiring team will hear; however, as I had time to debrief at the end of the day, I started to think of what candidate I was really looking for. I spent some time reflecting on their feedback and realized I wasn’t looking for a candidate that made me feel I owed them something, but instead a candidate that knew they earned this new opportunity. Don’t jump to conclusions – this doesn’t mean I was being critical of simple word selection. I was truly (sub-consciously) looking for someone that could confidently tell me they were prepared to leave their current role because they were “prepared for new challenges”, “open to a new culture and know they would add value”, and even request upfront they “require a role with work-life balance.”
This “want more” response communicated the role I was hiring for was not earned through preparation, but rather a debt I owed. In the moment, so many candidates lost the human factor to their response. It was a missed opportunity. They were so focused on the negatives surrounding their current situation. Wanting more than a monotonous work schedule is not enough. Working with the same peers on the same projects day in and day out is not enough. Wanting more money and promotions – wait in line! Does this sound crazy? Or would you think it is crazy to think that because you “want more” things will be handed to you?
These candidates overlooked the value they have to give. We all have our special innate characteristics that set us apart from everyone else. There are even those superhero powers we possess that enables us to connect, to be compassionate, to innovate, to learn, to teach, and to listen. However, when you feel stagnant in your work routine these strengths are bogged down by your own negative perspective. Success doesn't come from wanting more, but success is what happens when we are chasing more. Imagine success as a staircase and each milestone in your career is randomly spread out. To get to the top of the staircase you will still need to take one step at a time. You should move forward at each step with passion, enthusiasm, and resilience.
Instead of going to work day after day to the same routine expecting something more to come your way, I challenge you to chase your career milestones. While you work the same process, I challenge you to find a shortcut and improve the process. While you answer calls, I challenge you to really listen to your customer and identify a trend. I challenge you to push yourself to be better than you were yesterday. Be the person that’s headed to the top of the staircase.
The next time you find yourself in a work slump and that deflated feeling overtakes your perspective -- remind yourself what Katy Perry would say...
“There’s a spark in you. You just gotta ignite the light, and let it shine!”