What to consider when changing jobs
Or as I like to say,
My Manager is an Idiot, Should I Jump Ship?
If you have been employed for about 20 odd years, you are bound to have had a least one Manager that is an ‘idiot’.
Yes, they still exist, and they haven’t been phased out or made redundant and you still need to work with them day after day especially if you need the job to pay your rent or mortgage.
Before you choose to simply jump ship, it is worth considering a few things listed below:
Are you Happy for 80% of the time or more at work?
Despite the idiot Manager, it’s a simple question that you need to ask yourself.
If the answer is ‘yes’ then you need remember that work life is never about finding the perfect and ultimate job. You’ll never be happy 100% of the time, there will always be challenges and difficult people and situations that you need to navigate.
If you answer is ‘no’ then you need to determine in all honesty what is your percentage ratio and what is driving your unhappiness. If it’s one person that is driving your unhappiness, but you love the industry, the type of work that you perform and the company, then don’t jump, wait.
Will My Manager be there Forever?
No, the idiot Manager will leave.
How do I know this? Well it’s just about determining when not if.
You see, most employees stay in a role for about 2-4 years.
If they are an idiot, the truth is that they will stay longer as they lack the confidence to really go out and compete against their peers in finding another position of similar value. The idiot Manager is under more pressure that what you perceive. On one hand they lack confidence as they know they are not performing. Another pressure point is from their Manager, who only really has a certain amount of time for them to deliver and perform in their role.
A company today cannot afford to carry an idiot Manager for more than 9 months.
When you are in the moment and under the authority of an idiot Manager it can seem that time is passing slowly. Get busy, focus on what you need to achieve for the company and for your career, learn the skills, be passionate and give yourself a time target as to when you should jump ship.
Don’t leave without gleaning the skills you have determined that you require.
George Constanza and Seinfeld
I laugh to myself even thinking of this, it was the Seinfeld episode where George Constanza gets a job. It’s a miracle! George knows he is completely incompetent and gets to work in spending time every day in covering up his incompetency. One of his strategies is to be angry at the employees that work for him as it portrays to others that he is so stressed and busy at work.
Ringing any bells? Yes, it’s the idiot Manager appearing again.
They take on various strategies to protect their incompetence at any other employees’ expense. Here is what you need to remember, George Constanza was never able to keep a job for long and neither can the idiot Manager.
During my career I’ve come across several George’s. In fact, even in the employment consulting business. These are the people that want to copy your ideas, your work and do the glory run themselves. Yes, they take the credit for your hard work. It’s no different from the child at school that copies your work, to the idiot Manager like George Constanza that uses ridiculous strategies to seem competent and busy when in fact they are not.
Good news, if you are the one generating the ideas and the good work, the idiot Manager will not be able to keep up as they have no capacity to come up with the new ideas and work. You will, at some stage, surpass them but don’t waste your time worrying about them taking the glory, focus on you completing your best work and building confidence in your abilities, and again, what you need to learn for your next step.
Just because your Manager operates under the George Constanza mode, it doesn’t mean you have to pack your job in and run to the hills.
Moving to your Next Position
When you go for a job interview, particularly if the company that is interviewing is worth anything, they will ask you about your previous position and why you left. I’ve interviewed thousands of people during my work and career and to be very honest, it’s a complete turn off when the candidate merely admits, my Manager was an idiot.
From my perspective it says this to me:
I wonder if they simply can’t work with difficult people.
I wonder if it really was their Manager or them that is an idiot.
If we employee them and they leave this company, I wonder what they will say to others.
Whilst these are just quick questions that come to mind, the point is that you haven’t positioned yourself very well to be offered the next position in another company. However, if you present in a manner of someone that doesn’t jump ship quickly and has done some of the above things we have talked about in this article, here is how my perception changes:
Despite difficulties, this person has shown me that they are thoughtful about what they have learned and the skills that they have gleaned.
This candidate can cope with a difficult team and people, they could really make a difference and have a great chance to show their leadership skills.
Good to see that they don’t just jump ship when things are difficult, they must have tenacity.
Before you decide to simply quit and pack it in, it’s worth taking the time to consider some of my points.
Companies don’t change that much because of a new process, system or piece of equipment. They do change a lot when they have employees doing their best work, challenging the status quo and not giving up.
Employees are your best business asset!
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