I just graduated from grad school with two Master degrees in my pocket and was ready to start my career. For the last years I dedicated my entire energy and passion towards my studies. I was very ambitious and reached the goals I set for myself. I felt perfectly prepared for the job market and could not wait to start my first job and become the business woman I wanted to be.
Well, it did not take very long until disillusionment kicked in. I had written numerous applications with no success. After four exhausting and discouraging months I finally landed a job.
So, I left my family and friends and moved hundreds of miles away with the optimism of a young professional. It was surely not the fanciest city and not the most compelling job. But I knew I was accountable for the biggest client and it was a global company, so I thought there would be a great chance I was going to learn a lot.
The optimism did not last very long. As soon as I was setteled in the job I realized that I was trapped in a position that wasn’t at all what I was looking for when I decided to study Business. I was extremely bored and not a bit challenged. I was in the job for less than eight weeks when I decided I need change. I just got into the professional life and already felt burned-out. With every other day at work I felt less energy and motivation. After another three weeks I sat there and said to myself “This is not where you wanted to be. It is not right to move further on this path, because this is not the road you’re suppose to take!” As I am not likely to resign something that I just have started, I decided to take the risk and tell my boss that 1st I do not like my job and 2nd I want to do something else. It was pure risk, because they just could have laid me off.
Before I arranged the meeting I analyzed my co-workers feelings towards their jobs and I realized immediately that a handful of them felt exactly the way I felt. What surprised me was that none of them had the motivation to change their situation. Some of them just accepted the exhausting feelings and were convinced there was nothing to do about it. I strongly disagreed and knew it is not my destiny and I am the one that decides about my career.
My boss was pretty suprised that the newly hired was already asking for a new challenge. She had planned with my resources for upcoming projects, organized trainings, and relied on my commitment. It would have taken her probably not longer than two weeks to replace me with someone that was a better fit. Instead, she analyzed the reasons for my discouragement and altercated alternatives.
It took a few months and some patience before she came back at me with a solution. My company decided to launch a new department and that they were looking for someone just like me to lead that project. The job discription sounded exactly what I was looking for, so I accepted the offer and changed positions.
The lesson I learned is that althought it was very risky to speak out loud how unsatisfied I was with my job, to say that my professional skills don’t meet the job requirements, and to ask for a new challenge just right after I started the job, it was the right thing to do. I would always chose honesty before discomfort again.
If I would never had said anything I might be still in the same unsatisfying position and someone else would have gotten the chance to develop the new department. If you wait for destiny to lead you to a better job, you may miss the greatest opportunities.