During one of my jobs over the last 5 years, I had a boss that I admired and who admired me. I was relatively happy. However, we had a reorganization and now I reported to a different professional.
Have you ever experienced a shift in your workplace you know may not be advantageous for you?
My story turned to a tale of growing fear, anxiety and frustration, ultimately leading to a friendly parting of ways and unemployment hell.
Had I quietly started my job search while working, I would have found my next job quicker and without all the internal worry.
So, if you are employed but sense something could be wrong, get prepared!
Details of my Story
Many of us have that gut feel that something is not the same as it used to be in the office. It used to be great, but things have changed:
- Company financial difficulties
- New boss who needs to show immediate value
- New senior management with a new vision
- Flat or dropping personal compensation with additional responsibilities
Is my job in jeopardy? Hard to tell since so many variables are outside of our control. My goal is not to scare you, but to suggest you take precautions to act smartly.
In my case, my new boss was smart, hardworking, and well respected. However, I noticed then when we spoke about projects or I prepared an analysis, he asked strangely simple clarifying questions.
What seemed so obvious to me became annoying repetitive Q&A emails back and forth.
Regardless of the reason for the disconnect (which I fully acknowledge could have been my lack of ability to recognize how to work with my new boss), I became really concerned.
I double, and triple checked my work, sought the advice of others, but things just got worse.
I started having those “I’m going to lose my job” nightmares, thrashing around and disturbing my wife. I was waking up irritable which of course only compounded my work and family issues.
I left the company within 6 months. We were all frustrated with each other, so a mutual parting was appropriate. However, I now had no job nor was even close to one.
Hey, if you’re 22 and want to try leap frogging from start up to start up to sample the job market, great. With 3 kids to put through college and a mortgage, not great.
I was so caught up in myself, I never even thought of Plan B.
What is plan B? I should have started to look for another job, quietly, on my own time, while I was working. I think back and can’t believe I didn’t plan. I could have:
- Increased my network on LinkedIn to have conversations about the job marketplace
- Reconnected with old colleagues in similar and different fields who could provide me perspective
- Gone to networking events to learn and meet others
- Interviewed quietly, just to test the waters
My lack of planning for the next job, while I had an existing one, cost me dearly in emotional and monetary distress.
Good news is I found a great job, but it took a while. I could have been so much better prepared.
Please learn from me, and don’t perfect inertia.