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  • Linda R. Taliaferro

Everywhere You Go, There You Are

Sometimes on our professional journey, we end up feeling really stuck. You're working hard, but maybe your boss is holding you back or your department's structure is dysfunctional. Maybe you're seeing other people get promoted to jobs you wanted for yourself. Maybe you’re just ready to tear your own hair out, because nothing you’re trying seems to work.

Inevitably, the thought comes up: maybe I should switch jobs.

But here's my counterpoint to that thought: even if you switch companies, you will always be with you. No matter where you go, there you are. The problems that are bothering you now don’t exist exclusively outside of you, because each of us has our own baggage that we bring to our professional lives. Unless you’re prepared to do the deep work on improving those issues, switching jobs won’t help in the long run.

Now, if your company is incredibly toxic, then absolutely get out of there. I'm not talking about situations where you're experiencing harassment, sexism, racism, ageism, or any other type of abuse. If that's your workplace, get out. Discrimination isn’t a reflection on you, and no amount of soul searching on your part can make that toxicity okay.

What I'm talking about here is that feeling of grinding frustration that no matter what you do, you'll never get ahead. Changing companies or departments isn't necessarily going to immediately fix your situation unless you identify why you got stuck in the first place.

Pointing fingers and assigning blame is easy, but the real work of peeling back the layers of your professional progression and looking at what got you to the quagmire you're in right now is critical. What is the real "why" of your situation?

  • Have you requested feedback from your manager?

  • Have you reviewed feedback you've been given?

  • Have you worked on those issues?

  • Are you reacting out of emotion and letting your frustration speak for you?

  • Are personal issues from your “private” life interfering with your job performance?

These are questions that need answering before you charge out of there and into the next company, because if you don't, I guarantee you that within two years you will feel just as stuck as you did before. We bring our baggage with us no matter where we go, unless we sit down, dig in, and start to unpack it.

So unless you're in an extremely unhealthy situation, my advice is to pump the brakes on your instinct to head for the hills. Now is the time to start doing the work of self-reflection and analysis that will move the needle for you.

If you’d like a professional assessment of your situation and the things that might be holding you back, I’d love to connect with you. Click here to get a one-on-one on my calendar, and we can get started.

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