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Run to a Job Rather Than From a Job

By: Dogwood
On Behalf of Michael Chitwood
| July 20, 2021 |

In a previous post, I mentioned the importance of not letting “the rent get too high” when working a job or doing volunteer work. Admittedly, the danger with my previous post is that one could interpret it to mean that anytime one encounters friction, they should quit.

However, that is not my advice in the previous post or in this post. Instead, I want to encourage you to adopt the phrase, “run to a job rather than from a job.” Allow me to share my vocational flaws to learn this lesson the hard way by sharing some jobs I’ve had across the years:

  1. Waffle House Food Preparer
  2. Funeral Home Nightwatchman
  3. Wal-mart Cashier
  4. Janitor
  5. Hotel Auditor
  6. Mini-Golf Manager
  7. Teacher
  8. College Athletic Administrator
  9. Electronics Technician
  10. Army Chaplain/Officer

That’s a lot of job variety, and it’s because I immaturely kept “running from a job than to a job.” But what’s the difference?

Running from vs to a Job

“Running from a job” is when we believe our next job will solve all of the current job’s problems. We fantasize that the next job will be the perfect job until the new job presents us with different issues. So we continue our search for the ideal position continuing an endless cycle. A cycle where we go from job-to-job and industry-to-industry, seeking the perfect fit that doesn’t really exist.

In contrast, “running to a job” means we work through a job’s challenges while waiting for a better position or opportunity. We deliberately refuse to job hop let a job’s struggles grow and mature us to make us mature and ready for the next best career move. This approach requires us to know what we want from a job to inspire us to work through present challenges while waiting.

Personally, I learned the value of “running to a job rather than from a job” when I had one position through 5 bosses in 6 months. That toxic culture caused me moderate health problems, but I didn’t quit. Instead, I remained patient. I knew my goals/why and waited for the right opportunity while letting my current job grow and mature me for the following position.

Fortunately, my next job became one where I reached a long-term goal/why to become an Active Duty Army Chaplain and Officer. As a result, my reasons for changing jobs were optimistic because they matched my passion, skills, and years of training.

That’s the difference between “running to a job rather than from a job.” We change jobs because we are attracted to organizations and roles we seek; we don’t change careers because we try to avoid stress or challenges. Remember, sometimes, we have to endure short-term obstacles to reach our long-term success.

Each situation is different. You’ll need to determine when the “rent is too high” because there are times when you’ll need to leave a job and not have a better one waiting. Before you reach that conclusion, at least try to work through your current job’s problems. Your experience will cause you to be a leader and expert to others who need encouragement as they grow and mature.

One word of caution: if ever you are experiencing abuse, then report it to your Human Resources (HR) division when possible. Some small companies don’t have an HR department. It might be better to then move on than accept emotional, mental, or physical harm in those instances. In my case, there was no abuse, just mismanagement, which caused me stress that turned into my health issues.

Otherwise, getting a new job with the hopes that it will solve the problems of your current job rarely works. If anything, it continues the endless cycle of job instability, and you need to stop the cycle now. Being very guilty on this issue, please take my word because the outcome is worth your wait.

This article was originally published at verticalpaths.com.

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