Thinking of quitting your job? Try reinventing yourself at work first.

5 min read

Career Trends: April 22, 2022
Curated by the Knowledge Team of ICS Career GPS

John Coleman says “purpose” in a work environment may not necessarily be a single thing but multi-pronged, which can shift over time.

Content Credit:

  • From Q&A published on Original article link.
  • John Coleman, author and senior executive in the financial services industry, in conversation with Maureen Mackey.

More than 70% of workers said they regretted quitting their jobs, as Fox Business reported recently about a survey connected to the “Great Resignation.” In an interview with Fox News Digital, John Coleman pointed out, “One of my pushes for people [who are contemplating a job change] is to be sure that they’re leaving for something, not just leaving from something.”

He points out how many people abandon their external professional environment first, before doing the internal work to understand what would give them greater meaning and happiness.

In a wide-ranging discussion about today’s workplace and its unique challenges, Coleman shared tips for evaluating a work environment before making a dramatic job leap.

He shared other solid advice as well. 

Questions to ponder before saying, ‘I quit’

When evaluating whether to leave a particular job for new opportunities elsewhere, Coleman said people should ask themselves some very important questions.

  • How do you feel at the start of your workday?
  • Do you make excuses for not wanting to get things done promptly? 
  • Do you feel your work is interfering with your time and space in a big way?
  • And, finally, do you feel colleagues and teammates have been sharing bad or negative ethical habits that you are now actually starting to mimic?

If people find themselves repeatedly wanting to avoid their job because of exhaustion, burnout, dread or other such reasons — that’s something to pay close attention to, he indicated.

When people recognise they’re starting to “cross the line” ethically or morally into poor habits — that is a huge red flag to recognize and take action to correct. 

He advised that in “toxic work environments” such as these, people can find themselves slipping into negative behaviours.

“People need to be attuned to these things,” he said, to lose track of what really matters and what sort of environment you’re willing to tolerate.

Key ways to find your purpose in life

Coleman shared how vital is it to find meaning and purpose in one’s job or type of work to feel fulfilled and productive.

  • The first tip is shifting our mindset to one of service to others. It is important for feeling a sense of purpose in our work.
  • Second: Investing in positive relationships in the workplace is important, too.
  • Third: Look for opportunities for mentorship and apprenticeship at work. 

“The social science is clear that much of the joy in life comes from the depth and breadth of positive relationships.”

It also includes interactions in the workplace. The ‘unstructured time’ in which a younger worker can watch his or her boss and learn from that person is key.

  • Coleman says companies need to create opportunities for senior employees to mentor and train younger or junior employees.
  • Otherwise, companies or organisations can lose the ability to “really advance their talent and to develop their people.”
  • He also pointed out that “purpose” in a work environment isn’t necessarily a single thing — often, it’s multi-pronged and can shift over time.

Exploring your abilities and options

Coleman also made special note of the tendency of young people coming up in the world of work to jump around pretty frequently.

  • “Some element of experimenting with a job is OK,” he said, the first job you get after college is not often the job you’ll end up in and that should not be a cause for anxiety.

“I encourage young employees to think about craft — and how they create community at work, how they surround themselves with mentors.”

  • Coleman said it can become dangerous when people get addicted to that exploration and never settle into something.
  • It hinders their discovery of what they are good at and where they can really make a contribution in the world.

Creating a meaningful community

Community is not built in a year. So young employees should really think about craft — and how they create community at work, how they surround themselves with long-term mentors. That often only happens in a longer-term commitment to a workplace.

“Positive relationships [at work] can help [young people] build community and create some attachment over time.”

  • Coleman said companies are acknowledging that the world has changed.
  • Some of that means creating a workplace in which companies acknowledge that young people may be in and out a bit more.
  • He added that the way to retain those people, first, is in recruiting — and in understanding that many young people are motivated by a sense of purpose, rather than just money or experience.
  • Second, surround them with positive relationships that can help them build community and create some attachment over time.

Have you checked out yesterday’s blog yet?

New HR trends are here as workplace dynamics change

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the article mentioned above are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)

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