How Your Emotional Intelligence Can Lead You to Explore a Career Change and Keep You Motivated
As a search consultant, I often deal with people struggling to figure out if they should take a leap of faith and make a career change. There are many factors that play a role in a decision to change jobs. In most cases, people make career moves motivated by things such as money, geography, status, power, new challenges, and/or professional growth. Makes sense, right? What many people don’t do is explore a career change because they have become complacent.
Being self-aware and having the ability to self-manage make up the personal competence piece of one’s emotional intelligence. Self awareness plays a key role in your personal competence and keeping you out of the complacency “trap.” When we better understand ourselves, we are empowered to make changes. In the working world the “trap” is often baited with money and other perks. For example, I had a friend who was working on Bay St., making lots of money, but was complacent in his job. His emotion intelligence alerted him of his feelings towards his work and he knew he had to make a change. His self-awareness led him to quit his lucrative job and start up his own craft beer company. Most importantly he’s now happy and motivated at work. For some this realization may be like a light bulb going off in your head, for others it may take time – the more important thing is that it happens. The unfortunate fact is many people don’t come to this realization and spend years, even decades, complacent and unmotivated in their work.
One of the major issues with complacent workers is they have settled into a routine that is not motivating. For example, when I entered the work force after graduation, I worked in the hospitality industry. I was at a great restaurant with amazing perks and made good money. As I moved up in the hospitality world, I became unknowingly complacent. I wasn’t unhappy at work, but after a while I was starting to go through the motions. The moment I realized this, it initiated the motivation to change. I was 25 and luckily still in the early stages of my working life. For some people this self-realization is elusive. The most important years of your professional life can vanish because of complacency. Don’t let this happen to you!
If you think that you’re becoming complacent at work, exploring a career change is a great motivator and it really doesn’t take all that much work. One of the excuses I hear from my friends and people in my network is that they are to busy to search for new opportunities. Simply updating your resume and LinkedIn are two easy steps to getting started. Once those steps are completed, its all about networking and exploring avenues that would suit your skills and keep you interested. In fact, the search for the new opportunity and networking can be motivating in itself.
I believe that nothing bad can come out of exploring a career change. Best case scenario you land your dream job, or maybe you find a new job with a great offer and your current company counters with a better one. There is always the possibility that you don’t find anything better than what you have, and you become more grateful for your current you job and are rejuvenated at work. If you had continued to be complacent you would have never explored what else was out there. Look to use your emotional intelligence to push you out of that complacent routine and motivate you to strive for more.
Marty Greenaway is an executive search consultant with Feldman Daxon Partners.
- On June 26, 2018