By Jonyt Meyer, guest contributor
If you aren’t happy in your job, or your organization suffers from retention issues, this may be worth reading.
For the first time in years I find myself foregoing a tradition that has for me been a very valuable career drill. Each year as the Holiday season approached, I would sit down and create a Pros/Cons list, the list covering considerations for remaining with or moving on from my current company. Instead of using this to drive a year end career decision, it was meant to remind me of the positives while creating a “to-do” list for the year to come. My intent being that if I was ever incapable of significantly improving the cons list based on my to-do activities, that would be my indicator that it was time to move on to new opportunities.
Some companies create far better work environments, but no place of employment is perfect. Your perspective regarding the imperfections is the key. One of the attributes of great companies is that the employees feel empowered to help MAKE it a great place to work. Instead of an excuse to run, issues or cons impacting job tranquility need to be first addressed. Only after formulated efforts to improve issues have been exhausted can the cons be weighed against the pros. If your strategy is to move on when things get tough, you’ll find yourself running from job to job your entire career while repeatedly suffering from the very issues you are mobilizing to avoid.
So in this model I would put together action plans over the course of the upcoming year to address my cons. Some plans included groups or entire teams, while others were strictly personal or between limited individuals. I found that I never had more than a couple of major issues, three or four at most, that if resolved would significantly improve my environment. Progressively I found the issues at the top of my con list less significant than those listed from prior years. Another benefit I found was that most of the items had positive overflow, in that fixing the issue for myself also improved things for those around me.
This model, or more properly the mentality, can easily be extended to your employees by simply asking a question as part of the annual review process; “What are the key concerns you have about your position?” These are the same issues that end up on the con side of a list and drive your employees’ own career decisions. So, working with them to resolve their issues proactively prevents the addition of another con to your own list. It’s interesting to note that while compensation and advancement issues always appear at the top of these lists initially, those items seldom remain in the top spots when working environments improve and people are actually glad to contribute to and be part of a positive team environment.
Managing a career job can be like managing a business. It takes constant effort, and you only get out of it what you put into it. If every business model or idea was deserted with the same disposable approach we sometimes take towards our career, think of the great achievements we would be missing out on today.
Whatever your plans this Holiday season, enjoy the break. Your next “to-do” list is only a few weeks away!
About Jonyt Meyer:
As a veteran CIO and IT Professional Jonyt focuses on teamwork, innovation and engagement to deliver results. He approaches IT as a profit center business unit generating maximum benefit by creating proactive culture and reengineering processes to optimize operations, contain costs, and increase profitability. Learn more about Jonyt’s professional background by visiting his LinkedIn profile, or review his professional bio.