Lately around the blogosphere – there has been a lot of discussion about quitting your job – and there are clearly two very opposite thought processes here. One says you’ll learn everything you need to about a company within the first couple weeks of employment. Others will tell you to wait it out, suck it up, and gain experience. What’s the right thing to do – what should YOU do? Are you currently at the intersection of corporate vs. startup lifestyles not knowing where to turn? It may feel great to pack your bags and say good riddance to structure and conformity, but maybe, just maybe, you should think about the marathon before breaking out into a sprint.
Two weeks is not enough time to judge if you’re a fit with a company. You may have a basic feel of the way things are done, but nine times out of ten you haven’t even begun to tap into the position you were hired for. After a few months, you should have a better idea and you can tell whether or not you’ll fit into the culture of the company. Does that mean you should automatically quit if you don’t immediately fall in love with your job? Not at all. Have you looked inward and though ‘maybe it’s not the company, maybe it’s my own state of mind that is inhibiting my success’. Try harder, stick with it, learn from it. If all else fails, you’ll be gaining valuable experience and will be maintaining a steady income.
The commitment one makes when accepting a job offer is something that is widely discounted overlooked. Think about how hard you worked just to score an interview. You made it through a stack of other resumes – you got through the interview process – the commitment between company and employee is mutual. Maybe the company hasn’t provided a realistic outlook of what the job entails, or maybe your lack of commitment is getting in the way of success. Whatever the case, it’s important to remember that a job is more than a job, it’s a commitment. You have invested your time and effort into the company, and they are in turn trusting you to be efficient and productive – they’re investing in you every couple weeks when you get a paycheck handed to you. Eva makes an outstanding point in her post when she says “A high performer might be able to switch jobs often, but those worth the title do not. Instead, they are committed to the company that has committed to them”.
You might hate your job with a passion – but later in life you’ll value the experience you received. Learn something. Maybe it’s realizing what you’re good at – or maybe it’s figuring out what you don’t want to do in life and the right and wrong way to do business. Every experience, both good and bad, will help you grow, it will help shape you and mold you as you continue on your career path. Generation-Y gets a bad rep because of our sense of ‘entitlement‘. We (very early on) will start to think we’re smarter than our supervisors and bosses. Highly doubtful we’re smarter than our counterparts with years of experience on us – rather, more times than not it’s as simple as having a different perspective and core philosophy. It’s important to understand that there is more than one way to run a business – look inward, soak up the knowledge, and use it for your own future benefit.
Jumping from job to job may introduce you to a wide array of experience and techniques – but what’s the number one thing employers are looking for? Someone who has shown commitment in their past experiences, both personal and professional. I was asked during the interview for my current position to describe my greatest accomplishment; a pretty intense, in your face question that put me on the spot. I felt my hands tense up, not knowing what to say – only one thing came to mind, so I started talking. I told them story of how I met my girlfriend, how much it had changed me (for the better). I talked about my relationship making me a humble and compassionate person, and explained the commitment and dedication involved in maintaining a successful relationship.
They weren’t asking for relationship advice – it probably wasn’t the answer they were looking for or even hoping for. But it was a clear real-life example showcasing my own reliability, consistency, and commitment: Three things that all employers want in bringing on a new staff member. It was a ‘human’ response, and these ‘real life’ examples may be all you have as you initially enter into the job market – but moving forward, you’ll need professional examples to add credibility. Nothing looks worse that a resume with 7 different 2-month tenures of past work experience. You may not love your job, but odds are, it will benefit you over the long haul. The bottom line, employers want someone they can count on – someone that won’t give up at the first sign of adversity.
In a community full of entrepreneurs and innovative thinkers, why would you listen to someone who is (basically) telling you to suck it up and pay your dues? I want to start up my own company as much as the next guy – but with that said, make the best of every situation, as trying as it may be – I guarantee every work experience will help you learn and grow as an individual. While it may feel good to be liberated and free, there is a lot to be said for a person who shows commitment and poise, even through adversity. Who knows, maybe you’ll prove to yourself that your initial judgement was wrong. Don’t lose track of what you want and where you want to be in life, but don’t be afraid to face inconvenience and difficulty with an open mind and your chin held high. Continue to learn and in the end, you’ll end up exactly where you want to be.