Here’s a question from one of our readers on www.WorkplaceCoachBlog.com:
Dear coach, a year ago my husband received a great offer and we moved cities. I was able to keep my job as a remote worker. I worked remotely for a year and concluded I needed a job locally as remote work does not fit my personality. I had 2 offers and despite all the deep thoughts, I think I chose the wrong one. I am not a job hopper but the scope of my position is too narrow and because we have way too many people in the department, there is not much to do and I am afraid if things don’t change I will be bored. I don’t want to ruin my reputation by staying in a company for a short time. How long is it recommended that a person stay with a company before considering change jobs? Would it make me look bad if I tell the truth which is the company/job is not the right fit for me because it is very slow pace and scope of responsibilities is very small? Thank you for your advice.
Answer From Our Coach / Trainer, Jennifer Yuhas:
Three issues seem to be at play here: the workload, your working style, and your reputation.
It sounds like you’re already bored. Most employers who really need the help will be glad to hear that you want to be challenged. Since you believe the department is overstaffed and you have few responsibilities, they would not be put in a lurch if you left, and your responsibilities may be readily absorbed by others. Have you actively inquired as to whether this is the case or not? Have you asked your supervisor for additional duties? If these are granted, is it enough to stay?
You mention that your personality would be better suited to local work. Are you more extroverted and need of face to face relating? Not everyone adjusts well to “holing up and getting it done,” or creating their own relational opportunities. If your creative energies are better fed with in-person contact, you are smart to admit this, and it likely will not be held against you when you seek local work.
The duration of employment can be explained as situational. Your family moved, you tried something, it wasn’t a great fit, and your employer did not suffer in your departure. Prospective employers will value your taking action to correct this for both you and your company.
For several years I delivered a two-part class to graduating college students on job seeking and interviewing skills. I always started by asking, “What is the worst thing that can happen in your interview?” Aside from the occasional mention of medical or natural disasters, someone always responded, “That you don’t get the job!” That was all we needed to start the real conversation asking, “What if you get the job, and it’s the wrong job, and you make each other miserable for the next five years or longer when the perfect job was right across the street the whole time?” Only then could we get to the meat of why the right fit matters.
At the very least, your low workload and responsibilities seem to lend you the flexibility to find the right fit. Good luck!
Jennifer Yuhas is a Senior Consultant / Trainer with Avitus Group (formerly The Growth Company). She possesses an extensive background in executive coaching, negotiations, liaison work, team building, and group processes. She has led several teams since 1995 and most recently served as the Negotiations Strategy Lead for the Alaska Delegation to the Pacific Salmon Treaty, and the Joint Pacific Alaska Range