Time for a Change?

By: Marti Benjamin, MBA

Professional Certified Coach | Certified Career Management Coach

Champion for a great work-life!


“Sometimes it’s easier to change PEOPLE, rather than trying to CHANGE people.” I first heard that business maxim from a consultant in his work with a company to reduce the conflict and tension between the CEO and professional staff. I was the newest staff member, having joined the team a mere week before, and I wondered what I had gotten myself into!

Several years later, I think of this consultant when I see people struggling in their career. I offer this modification to his statement: Sometimes it’s easier to change JOBS than it is to CHANGE jobs…and, sometimes it’s not!

Careerists often seek a coach when they’re fed up and frustrated and can’t take it any longer in their current work situation. (Incidentally, let me just say that it’s more productive to begin coaching when there’s just a hint of dissatisfaction, rather than months—or even years—of trying to cope, ignore, change or adapt to an ill-fitting position.) Their energy about work is negative and they’re anxious to make a change—NOW.

My first question is usually something like, “What would it take to make your current position work for you?” I’m neither crazy nor cruel; if it’s possible to make the current situation satisfying, it’s less stressful and uncertain. Sometimes a new perspective about the work can solve the problem, or asking for new assignments that are more enjoyable or challenging. At other times, the employer is a good fit but the specific position isn’t and it’s valuable to explore other roles within the company.

If it turns out that the position and the employer are both a bad fit, it’s definitely time to find a more satisfying position, one that’s rewarding both personally and financially. That’s what I mean when I refer to a great work-life—your work adds satisfaction to your life.

Beyond the specific job and employer, the next step is to ask whether the career field is still a good fit. I’ll ask, “What was it about this work that appealed to you in the beginning?” If the attraction factors are still there, we’ll consider other employers that might structure the position differently or that have a corporate culture more closely aligned to the individual’s personal values and preferences. If not, it’s time to consider where and how the worker’s skills can be applied in a new field for greater satisfaction.

Through this career coaching process, it becomes apparent that when the fit is wrong—whether it always was or has become so over time—it seldom works to CHANGE the person in the job. New skills can be learned and new habits formed, but if those learned behaviors don’t lead to greater job satisfaction, it’s time to change jobs. Both the employee and the employer will benefit from the opportunity to find a better match.

Marti Benjamin inspires great work-lives in her business and career coaching practice. In this, her third career devoted to service to others, she applies the discipline of business while executing the mission of service. Since founding Business Energetix in 2004, Marti’s coaching systems have led fed-up professionals from frustration to a richly rewarding work-life. www.CareerFromHere.com






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