So it’s early on in a new year, and hopefully you have had some time to sit back and reflect on the year that was. Hopefully you have set your goals to achieve in 2017, and being early Feb, you are well on your way to achieving them. Part of this goal setting might be about actively seeking the next stage in your career, or simply looking for a new job.
I can honestly tell you I spent most of 2016 hating the part-time job I had! It was never right from the get go, and here’s why:
The advertisement was false
The job that was advertised and that I signed up for was not the job in reality. The company was lucky that I was capable enough to do all that was required. But they’d advertised for a lower level person, and once on board I was required to execute plans that were far outside what was advertised – e.g. restructures that resulted redundancies; resolving an ongoing sexual harassment claim (yes, ongoing); strategic salary plans. These were far more involved and took far longer than the 2 days that I was paid for. I was capable of executing what they wanted – after all, I possess more than 15 years’ experience in HR – but the alignment to what they’d advertised versus what they needed were vastly different.
The solution: Sign off on a clear job description and KPIs prior to commencement
The pay and conditions
The company had advertised a range, and they paid me at the lowest end of this range. This was neither reflective of the job itself (considering I found out later what it really entailed), nor recognition of the skills, experience and expertise I would bring to the organisation. I had stated my salary expectations as part of the interview process, and they offered me this salary (well, just under to be truthful), inclusive of bonuses (which of course, are subject to satisfactory performance. From the outset, I was undervalued. Furthermore, I was ‘expected’ that I would carry out what was required in whatever time it took, even if that went beyond my two days’ paid work. I was also expected to drive my own personal vehicle for company business. I was reimbursed expenses, but never before have I been expected to do this. Even for the jobs I held in Canada and the UK.
The solution: State clearly and confidently what you’d like to be paid. And settle for nothing less. If they insult you by offering less pay than this, the company isn’t right for you.
What’s the morale like in your workplace? Is the business structured to be efficient, or bureaucratic? What’s your leader like? Is praise and recognition ubiquitous throughout your organisation? Or do you get little to no thanks for the hard work you do? Are you motivated to go to work on Monday after a weekend, or are you that excited by hump day that it’s only two days out from Friday? Are your values aligned to the business’s? I am a proactive person and the culture I was working in was reactive. Very reactive, inefficient, and very frustrating. The wrong fit.
The solution: Cultural change is impossible if it doesn’t come from the top down.
Your gut is telling you so
In my book, 101 HR Hot Tips: Handy Secrets for Success in the Workplace, HR Hot Tip #85 is about trusting your gut instinct. You know whether or not your current place of work is the wrong fit for you, and if you’re reading this, you’re thinking about quitting. I didn’t take my own advice in the hope that things would get better, or that I could influence the changes needed in the place. This was impossible with the attitude of the owner. I should have listened to my gut.
The solution: Take a risk. Nothing is worth doing or continuing if it doesn’t make you happy.
There is no bigger picture
If there are no other opportunities in the pipeline (e.g. that person that you can’t stand that happens to be your boss isn’t going on maternity leave; the business isn’t growing to enable more opportunities for your growth; we’ve always done it this way and nothing changes; you can’t access information you need e.g. financial statements), then this is a telling sign that you should quit. I just spoke to a former colleague of mine, who has just been retrenched (ripper! he got redundancy pay!), but all these factors were present, and we believe this resulted in the company going into voluntary liquidation.
The solution: Don’t ignore the signs. Transparency is very important and if it isn’t present, something is wrong.
Are you motivated by uncertainty? Or scared?
It is daunting and it takes courage to take risks such as this, but the truth is, if you have been feeling this way for three months or more, nothing is going to change. Back yourself and take a risk. Quitting will open you up to focus on what you really want to do. And opportunity will come knocking, I assure you. Not only have I felt mentally sane since leaving those guys, I have had time to focus on my passion in an environment that motivates me! I love sharing my HR Hot Tips with people and seeing the learning and a-ha moments. I couldn’t focus on this while I was supporting an organisation that didn’t support me.
Thanks for reading! If this article inspired you to take action, you can find more inspirational tips in my book, 101 HR Hot Tips: Handy Secrets for Success in the Workplace. Purchase it here.
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