I’m not an expert. I’m just a guy who likes to think about stuff.
Have you ever heard the expression, “the grass isn’t always greener on the other side?” When it comes to your situation at work, does this expression apply to you? For many years, it applied to me. It kept me from pursuing other opportunities. I was unwilling to test the waters out of fear of what was out there. There could be sharks in those waters!
I’ve been at jobs that I tired of after a few years. I’d always tell myself that I may not like the job, but at least I know what I don’t like. I know my boss is a pain in the ass. I know I haven’t gotten a raise in years. I know I’ve been doing the same work and not growing. They were knowns. If I jumped ship to work elsewhere, I didn’t know any of these things. Of course I’d interview with my future boss, but how well would I be able to tell whether we’d work well together after an hour-long interview? Sure, most of the time salary will increase when you change jobs, but there’s no guarantee that there will be yearly merit-based increases. My future manager may promise that I get to work on new and interesting projects. But oftentimes, especially for salaried employees, the work one ends up doing is what is needed at the time. Plans go out the window. At least where I’m working, I know all the variables. There are no surprises. But is that good enough?
You know something else I used to tell myself? It could be worse. I could be unemployed. When the recession hit in 2008, I was definitely telling myself that! I had recently started working for a company, and after about a year, right around Christmas, there was a layoff. It was the first layoff I had ever witnessed. I was spared, thankfully, but it was so depressing watching coworkers pack up their cubicles and say their goodbyes. Could I be next? Do layoffs happen every year? How do I stay off the hit list? I’m sure lots of people were asking themselves these questions. Around that same time, the boss who had hired me quit. Now I felt acutely vulnerable. Who was going to bat for me in the event of a future layoff?
I felt like I had to just keep my head down and endure. I was just grateful to have a job, after all. Being grateful was my problem, though. I truly believe that being grateful prevents success. When you’re grateful, you’re happy to have what you have. You’re not thinking about getting more. I certainly wasn’t thinking about getting more when I saw former coworkers leaving the facility with their stuff in boxes. I had to push past that fear, though. I had to realize that I deserved what I wanted. Especially after the boss who hired me left, I became disgruntled with my job. I should have had the courage to be dissatisfied with being grateful. I’ll never make that mistake again. Hopefully, those of you who are reading this won’t make that mistake, either.
You’re worthy of having a job that you like. You don’t have to be grateful to just have a job. Sure, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, but you know what? You’ll never know until you look.
Next week, another excuse. Stay tuned!