REALITY: We will RISE or FALL to the level of who or what we follow.
Are you considering this fact when seeking a job or career change? If not, you are setting yourself up for a less than fulfilling career, self conflict and disappointment. If you tell yourself, I am NOT the company, I am just an employee, you are wrong. You ARE the company and your reputation is impacted by who or what you represent.
We all follow someone or something, however the decision of who we follow or what we follow will help determine our level of satisfaction and feeling of well being which impacts overall success. Our culture has told us that we shouldn't discuss politics or religion in the work place, however your belief system is most likely the most powerful influencer in your life and if you don't believe these things are important when making a decision such as where you will spend 80% of your waking hours, you are fooling yourself.
My most conflicting time was when I was with a company where my personal belief system was contradicted by my company's culture. Although the world would say I was successful as it was the most financially rewarding time in my career, I was personally very unhappy and it impacted my personal life and my health in a very negative way.
Remember this: Do not listen to people whose life contradicts what they say. You will know their true heart by their actions. Your choice to align yourself with a leader or company that bears bad fruit will lead to consequences and if the opportunity seems to good to be true, it is. I was once told, if the decision is a hard one and it doesn't feel comfortable, it is the right decision.
I have this discussion all the time. I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with a college freshman who told me he wished he had studied harder and applied to a different school, in which he is now attempting a transfer. I told him that this was a lesson he may have to repeat multiple times throughout his life if he doesn't learn it today. He chose the easy route and got into his second choice school. He is not fulfilled and disappointed and now he is starting over, attempting to right his wrong. We've all been there.
Making good decisions on a daily basis takes discipline. We will all fail from time to time, but failure is not final, however making the wrong career decision may take years to correct. How do you avoid making a bad career choice?
- First, know yourself and what is REALLY important to you.
- Research the company that you are interested in joining. Don't just look at their pipeline and financial statements. Talk to people who work there and ask, "Are you happy and if so why?" Ask questions that are important to you personally? How much vacation? What has your company done when a product fails? How does the company treat people when they are sick or have family emergencies? Tell me about benefits? How does the company view women in management? How does the company treat diversity issues? Is the company respectful and supportive of your personal beliefs and values? If you are interviewing for sales, make sure you understand the pressure and the turn over rate. If a company has a 50% turn over rate, you will experience a great deal of stress. How much travel is REALLY expected? Is my potential boss ethical, moral...respected? It is easy to get caught up in "How much money will I make?" Money will not be enough if the culture isn't a fit.
- Talk to customers of the company in which you are interested in joining. "How does the company react to product issues?" "How is their customer service? (Call the toll free number and see for yourself.) How does their representative treat them, how does the rep's manager treat them? Do they have any issues with this company? Do you plan on continuing to do business with them?
- Factor in how these things will impact your family. If you don't you are making a huge mistake. Your level of satisfaction and stress directly impacts those you love.
- Don't settle. Ok, you may be out of work and need to make the mortgage payment. Perhaps you must make a sacrifice, but consider the sacrifice you will force your family to make if the opportunity is so directly conflicting with your core belief system that you come home everyday miserable.
If you are finding that you are morally conflicted, change your LEADER...CHANGE YOUR GAME! By the way, I did it!
Anissa Neubauer, MBA
For my Christian readers or those who are curious: "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sits in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. Not so the wicked." Psalm 1:1-4a
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