Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Help for Ranty: Getting out of a Dead End Job

HR friend and HRevolution rockstar Ben Eubanks of Upstart HR (@beneubanks on Twitter) asked for help for his reader, Ranty, who is frustrated in his first job after college, struggling to be seen as more than a filer and paper organizer. I have a number of thoughts for Ranty.

Dear Ranty,

I'm sorry that you're frustrated. Your situation is probably not quite as simple as “do I stay or do I go?” You could leave your job and move on, but you regardless of where you work, you need to be able to build credibility, sell your ideas, gain support, and try, try again in new and slightly different ways in order to be successful. And I know that you feel that you have tried, but your letter doesn't lead me to think you have exhausted all your possibilities yet.

CAUTION: I caution you not to get lost in a negative tailspin. You're frustrated and disheartened, and if that comes out in your work (which it is likely to do if you’re thinking things like “I don’t concentrate, and I can’t make myself care,”) you're in a danger zone. If you continue in this vein, you may find your boss saying sayonara before you do. Look for ways to re-energize and re-engage yourself, regardless of whether you ultimately stay or go. One suggestion is to watch what you are thinking, saying, and asking; and if your thoughts and questions are not constructive and strategic, tweak them so that they serve you best. (I am a big fan of asking questions, as you’ll see.)

CONTROL: If nothing else I say makes sense, please listen to this: I urge you to take control of your own career growth. Don’t wait for or rely on your boss. Chances are throughout your life, no matter how much your supervisor encourages your growth and provides opportunities and counsel, you will need to supplement this with your own development plan. This will be true regardless of your workplace.

Next time: Connect, Fine-Tune and Persist
Photo by juan23for

1 comment:

Ben Eubanks said...

Hey, Krista. Just had a chance to read the post. I will make sure he gets the link. I think it's great advice that we all could use a little of. Thanks for taking him under your wing. I try to be positive and spur him onward, but hearing this from a professional like yourself makes it even more powerful!