It's that time of year where even I am reflecting on the year that has passed and the one I am about to have. My family Christmas is being replaced with a trip to Aspen, skiing the festive season away in a winter wonderland where both exercise and a lot of time to think are part of the parcel.
Is it time to leave your job or step it up a notch?

Each year, I write down a series of goals. Mostly I achieve them. Sometimes I don't and that can be frustrating. I am blessed each year with a gift from an international friend , a Smythson of Bond Street Diary, that I treasure with all my inner most thoughts. 

Setting goals is important to me. It gives me purpose and clarity - a reason to keep moving forward and sometimes upward to where I really want to be. While money has never been important, finishing things that I start is, so that often is the basis of what defines my goals year-on-year.

As we embark on a series of employee Christmas parties, I am taking time out to think about each and everyone of them. What is it that they want out of life? Are they ambitious or happy with their status quo? Do they want more excitement in their roles, or a different lot of challenges than the one's they are currently being given. Do they understand the company vision and are they on the same path, or do they feel like we are changing and evolving too much.

In my era, we only changed jobs a couple of times in our lifetime. Millennials are expected to change jobs up to 7 times - and I think that is a low expectation, as they are a little more tricky than we ever were. They just leave jobs that they take on for a short time off their resumes and replace it with freelancing, often referring to the company as a client. I find this thought process quite fascinating - but definitely regular. 

Recruitment companies are struggling for their survival, and there are so many reason why that differ from the fact that many didn't innovate fast enough. People constantly tell me that recruiters have encouraged them to lie on their resumes or skew their credentials to suit the job they are going for without giving the full picture. I am liking the new technologies for recruitment, as they are more accurate and tell the real story. 

Employees need to go on their own journey. While companies like ours, want to take them part of the way, we understand that they will change it up somewhere along the line, and as millennials, sooner rather than later. The investment in millennials needs to be two-way, so I have enormous envy for those in banking, who have fewer millennials and the one's there don't necessarily make more money, but certainly put in more hours and are more appreciative of the brand they work for. The bonus of big brands I suppose.

February and March are the biggest times of the year in which people make the shift. They spend Christmas and New Year thinking about what's next, and then by the time they start sending out CV's and attending interviews (usually during hours that are paid by their current bosses), they are able to give their resignations, work out their time and start a new role.

But my question to this seamingly normal scenario is that every person must ask themselves the right questions to understand what they really want in life, and whether chopping and changing is going to get them there.

In our company, people learn a lot. I am fortunate that we have a program that teaches people many aspects of the marketing mix and gives them a broad and detailed account of what it takes to write a meaningful marketing strategy. The problem is, that once they have done it once, they believe they are experts and trying to shift this mindset is near impossible. Trust me, I have tried.

The other thing is that the people that you think are 'stars' nearly always end up not living up to the expectation and when they go, you find that they were basically only assistants, but what they were given to manage themselves, is never done properly or to any particular standard. It makes me cringe and I guess that's why they leave or are encouraged to find more suitable jobs that fit their qualifications.

Mental health is a big one in business today. While we are very supportive of people who suffer from mental health at Marketing Eye, and support them, it would be easier if the law would allow us to know what was wrong with them so we can design mechanisms within their jobs to cater for when they are having an 'episode' or are struggling with mental health. Better infrastructure, would ensure that they are better supported. Maybe in the future this will be something Workplace Health and Safety would consider.

If you are thinking about leaving your job, consider:

  • Are you having a bad week or bad month and it has little to do with work, and more to do with your life and how you have been living it?
  • Is your job teaching you things you may not learn elsewhere?
  • Have you been in your job and perfected your 'art' for a minimum of 2 years or are you caught up in a mindset that you know it all?
  • Does your job offer you variety, scope and advancement opportunities?
  • Have you taken the time to discuss with your immediate supervisor what you would like to change in your job or in how you are managed, and have you given them ample time to work with you to find a middle ground?
  • Are you just a person who loses interest fast or wants what someone else is having?

If you are staying in your job and looking to make the most of your career, consider:

  • What courses would benefit you long-term and how can you incorporate that into your day job?
  • Do you require more flexibility to work from home sometimes so that your life is more balanced and you don't need to travel to work daily?
  • Are you learning? If you are not learning enough, maybe put forward a learning plan to your immediate manager and ask for their feedback?
  • Ask for a performance appraisal.
  • Find out how you can get more involved in special projects.
  • Bring something new to the table; an idea, a business division, a way the company can grow faster or more efficiently, an employee engagement plan - really anything that you can put your signature on.
  • Put milestones in place for kicking goals, and bring others into your goal setting, working collaboratively to make a difference to the company you work in.

Find what makes you tick. See a psychologist or a careers coach if need be. Understand better the role you play in a company, and what you bring to the table. Finish everything you start and show integrity - because those are the things you will be remembered for.
Mellissah Smith is a serial entrepreneur and business leader with more than 20 years' experience in marketing.
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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert, author, writer, public speaker and technology innovator. Having worked with more than 300 companies across technology, medical device, professional services, manufacturing, logistics, finance and health industries, Mellissah has a well-established reputation as an experienced marketing professional with more than 20 years experience. As the founder and managing director of Marketing Eye, she has taken the company from startup to a multi-million dollar enterprise with offices in Australia and the US. Mellissah is also the Editor in Chief of Marketing Eye Magazine, a quarterly magazine that cover marketing, entrepreneurship, travel, health and wellbeing. #mellissah #marketingeye

1 comment

  • Alexis Gil

    Good tips! Thanks for that! We often going to change something, but sometimes it's more our feelings, than logic. Questions that you shared truly important to answer to understand who you are, where you are and if you are ready to move forward.

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