I wanted to share a story of a friend of mine who I could tell was really struggling at work. By struggling, I mean she was livid. She had so many ideas, would voice concerns, and was met with silence or told that her ideas were not a priority for the company at that time.
I'm no career coach, but as a friend I remember us grabbing a drink and talking through everything that was going on, her frustration palpable. I recommended she do the following things - and if you find yourself in a similar situation, I recommend you do the same.:
1. Document your ideas. What do you wish your company was doing today that it is not? What ideas you have, or strategy components you wish they would listen to? Write it down. This helps get clarity around your personal talk track, and crystalize proof points in your mind so you can rattle them off later.
2. Sketch out what an ideal job looks like. Take a step back from what you are doing today. What parts of your job do you like? What do you dislike? What would you be SO happy doing all day, every day? Combine this section with your ideas listed prior.
3. Invest time in building your personal brand. Talk about your ideas! Just because you are working at a company, doesn't mean you have to operate in a silos. Use platforms like personal blogs, or LinkedIn to write articles about your ideas. This will force you to further sharpen your ideas, not to mention market yourself and your expertise to the world as well as give reading material to potential employers that may want to hire you one day.
4. Have "the talk". Personally, I'm of the belief that you should be straight with your employer, which may be your boss / manager. Talk to them about your pain points, where you are frustrated or blocked, and share what you want to be doing. More often then not, they may have no idea and be happy for you to pursue your areas of interest or be willing to listen to your ideas. And if they are not, you now have that knowledge - and a fairly clear conscience - as you proceed to step 5.
5. Make the decision. You've put it all out there, communicated that you are unhappy and may or may not like the answers that you get. Will more money make you stay? Did you ask for it, or did they offer it? If no, is it time to start looking around at roles at other companies that match your ideal job sketch you drafted in step #2?
As for my friend? She is happily settled in at her new job, now 2 months later from when we first sat down at the bar. If this story resonates with you, I encourage you to take the above exercise and apply it to yourself. And if you do make the decision to jump, use this interviewing guide to keep your organized.
Life's too short to walk around so frustrated, and there are plenty of opportunities for hardworking people like yourself. Good luck!
I'm a motivated, self-starting marketer and working mom looking to make a difference in the world - one story at a time.
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