Are You Married To Your Job?

Many clients, when making a major decision about their career, find themselves in a highly conflicted paradox. Based upon all the facts at hand, they want to leave their current job and move to another position at a new job. Simple right?

Not so fast. These clients begin to throw self-made obstacles in their way to discourage, upset, and impair their successful future move.

Why do they do this? Many times it's because they feel a close bond with their current boss, their team, or their company. In fact, any attempt to move forward with their search produces intense feelings of infidelity, like they are cheating on their spouse or significant other. They're doing something 'behind their back'.

A recent example — When going to lunch with a director of another competing firm, you might feel obligated to tell your boss about it, so there are no repercussions. Now why would you want to do that? Many people would feel that it's the 'right' thing to do.

Bottom line, it's none of your boss' business. Unless you are revealing deep company secrets to the other party (and you're not doing that) — no one needs to know, be informed, or get a heads-up about a potential meeting. Why do people do this? Because they feel a certain kinship or marriage to their current company. I've actually heard, "It would be the right thing to do."

The way that I address this as a coach is to take the white elephant from the corner of the room and place it smack dab in the middle of the conference room table.

  • "Are you in any way, shape, or form, married to your company?" NO!
  • "If given the opportunity and the circumstances were right, would your boss let you go without a second thought?" YES!
  • "Then why do you feel that you need to care about them?" I DON'T KNOW — I JUST DO!
  • "Do you feel when you meet people for lunch, interview with a recruiter, or pass around your resume, you are 'going behind the back' of your boss or company?" YES!

Why does this happen? Because you've spent a long time with your company and you've developed deep emotional bonds with your team, peers, superiors, clients, support staff, etc. When you make the decision to move, you suddenly feel that you are deceiving them  almost 'cheating' on them. Couple that with an intense feeling of self-worth loss if and when you do leave and they really don't miss you. By the way — that actually happens. They move on.

So when you feel this way, really investigate your fears — odds are they are just misplaced emotions that are holding you back.

Have you ever felt this way when you made the decision to look for employment elsewhere in the marketplace?