It’s summer time….and the living is easy…sort of. I love everything summer – from week long vacations, weekend days outside getting drenched in vitamin D, evenings on the deck, lots of family time – it’s all good. My favorite season, hands down.
As we rolled into and out of our family vacation this year, I was catching up on my reading….cycling through books I’ve started and finally now finished and perused all kinds of blogs and news sites. One of my self admitted guilty pleasures was stealing my mom’s magazines on summer vacation….and reading the column “Can This Marriage Be Saved”. Hearing both sides of the story, a counselor weighing in….I loved it. Especially if all resulted in a happy resolution.
This vacation, it seemed like blogs abounded with content focused on workers not wanting to return to work, essentially focused on “5 Signs It’s Time For A New Job”.
Well honestly, if you’ve had an amazing vacation, does anyone eagerly look to return to work? Aren’t we all looking for just one more day in our personal paradise? I know the first week back, as you dig out from hundreds of emails, fight fires and try to regain “normal”, you can wonder….is this the job for me?
I recently sat down with Bob Corlett, my former boss and President of Staffing Advisors. In an hour and a half, I realized it’s possible to have someone Marie Kondo your career, just from a few basic questions. And these questions are vitally important when you’re wondering if you are really in the right place, the right job, right now. Because maybe you don’t need a new job, maybe you need to realize that you’ve got the “back from vacation blues”. What are the questions to help you recalibrate? Let’s jump right in:
What gives you joy in your job? Well duh. What does give you joy in your job? I love extending offers and congratulating people on joining the company I work for. I have always loved sourcing too, but getting to be part of that full life cycle process and take candidates from beginning to end in the hiring process, there’s no feeling like it. Especially because I know every single one of them is doing something awesome by joining the company. This question is so important, because as soon as you articulate what gives you joy, you can easily swing that pendulum back to what does not? In my case administrative blah blah. You can’t chase admin out of a job, but, you can look at how you can streamline it, or reduce the time it impacts the other part of your job you love to do. As soon as you pinpoint what does not give you joy, you can figure out if it’s fixable. Streamlining admin work is fixable.
Do you like where you work? Seriously, do you like to go into the office….whether a physical location or virtual. I typically have a commute that can be anywhere from 30-90 minutes depending on the day, the season, the way the wind blows. But I’m always happy when I walk into the office. And this after spending a large chunk of my career as a “virtual” employee, I am literally doing the opposite of everyone else in the work world by going into the office. I find that I need that energy of connecting with people in order to enjoy my work.
What keeps you engaged in your role now? For certain, the people I work with. It took me three years to navigate into a solid team. We’ve developed a great synergy over the past 6 months. The work is diverse too, not just recruiting, but projects, and a constant push to challenge the status quo, how can we do what we do better.
What do you feel you need to do next? This is absolutely the hardest question for me to manager. Remember the old interview question….where do you see yourself in 5 years? I was good at answering that up until I became a Sourcer. I think I found my niche in sourcing and recruiting and really jelled on the challenges. For the longest time I’ve felt like I need to manage a team. But do I need to manage people at work? I don’t know that I need to, but I do think it’s a component I haven’t covered well in my day job. What really gives me joy is seeing a project through from beginning to implementation to stabilization. That realization can give me some peace in pursuing the “individual contributor” path.
Putting the konmari philosophy into play on your career – it made me wildly uncomfortable. The answers don’t come without a deep look into what brings joy to your work. But have the conversation with yourself, a teammate or a mentor. Reassessing what brings joy to your work can revitalize you, and bring a new perspective to your work.
Kelly is the Recruitment Manager for Westat, a leading social science research organization headquartered in Rockville, Maryland.