What makes an employee think of leaving their current job? Recently, one of the most important reasons is the fact that they do not perform an activity they enjoy. Following one’s passion has become more and more important. The younger generation is less inclined to spend their entire lives doing something they do not really like doing.
So, it is quite common nowadays to meet people who want to make a career move, but are afraid of the consequences of going into a completely new field or of losing a safe and comfortable job.
In order to make such career moves, there are several options at our disposal: we can change completely our working style and become freelancers or entrepreneurs; we can change the company and the current position; or we can reconvert professionally within the organization we are already a part of.
In this article, I would like to talk more about the 3rd option because, in the near future, I believe it will be a very common HR practice. You can already see it happening, especially in the IT companies, who encourage and support their employees to change their career paths completely: to go from HR to development, from administration to QA, from development to marketing or HR, and so on. The possibilities are endless.
When you, as an employee, realize you do not like your job anymore, you are faced with the dilemma of maintaining the status quo or of taking a risk and leave the comfort and stability that the current job is offering. This unknown can be quite scary, whether one considers freelancing or changing jobs. But what if you consider the option to change your job, and not the company? Here are some recommendations on how you can approach this situation:
- Talk to the direct superior about what is bothering you or go to the HR department who will then facilitate a meeting between you and your manager;
- Explain what you are feeling and what your needs are and come up with some solutions:
- Job crafting – customize your job by constantly coming up with new tasks, projects and interactions that are interesting to you and also relevant for the company;
Job rotation – propose a calendar within your team or department that will allow you to learn and perform other tasks / jobs as well, that are close to what you would like to do;
If none of the above are possible, propose a flexible working time – reduce the working hours so that you have time for your passion also; this way you will keep doing the job that the company needs, but you will also be able to do what you actually want to do and get satisfaction from that activity also.
The employers can grow their business based on the passions and abilities of the employees. They can change their future by changing the future of their employees, in the directions that the employees want it. So why do they not do it enough? Companies lose great people because they think they cannot offer them anything else. Usually, they tell themselves “if they do not like their jobs, there is nothing we can do about it; it is probably for the best that they move on and find something else, closer to their passion”.
I invite all managers to take another approach and consider the following steps when dealing with such issues:
- Ask your team members about how much they like what they do; find out their needs and future plans regarding their careers;
- Discuss with HR to make a career plan for all the members of your team; you do not need to think only about promoting them hierarchically – that is never possible for all; horizontal growth (such as high specialization or project management) can also be very motivating for many of your people;
- Make sure that the career plan follows your team members’ passions – first, listen very carefully to what they want and then commit to invest in their development.
I believe this way of thinking can be found in the companies that want to keep their best people engaged and successful, and thus become more successful themselves.