Is the Grass Greener on the Other Side?

12 Nov 2014 | Naomi Marshall

We are all guilty of it. Pining over a more glamorous job, something higher paid or with better hours, or a better boss!! Wishing away the days and thinking about getting another job is something we all do form time to time. But the million-dollar question is, “Is the grass greener on the other side?” Oh how a time machine would be nice right about now…

Ultimately, you will never know the answer to this question, until you take the leap of faith. But often, there are some telltale signs that you are better off where you are and just need to reassess your priorities and expectations.

Before you hand in your resignation letter, make sure you are being truthful with yourself about your expectations of your current job. During my career I have had to really think about this a few times before I made a decision to change jobs. Some of these reasons have included:

I want what my friend has…
Sometimes, just because your friend seems to have a super glamorous job, doesn’t mean they have a better job. I was guilty of this with a friend who worked in TV. She was always swanning off to fancy parties and meeting with some pretty impressive celebrities (oh the stories she told).

But when I shook off the green eyed monster, I realised that those fancy parties were a lot of late nights (backed up by early mornings) and after-hours work she was never going to be paid for. It also meant missing out on socialising with her friends and family at events she actually wanted to attend. And as much as I would have loved to meet with some of the A-List celebs she worked with on a famous London tv show – the reality was she spent more time handpicking out particular colours of M&M’s to have in the green room than she spent briefly meeting and greeting a celebrity (or more likely their entourage).

When we sat down and compared notes, I really began to appreciate my 8am to 6pm job that meant I could actually make commitments and see my friends. I also began to appreciate the fact that I had no one sending outrageous requests to me (requests that seemed nearly impossible but knew my job was on the line if I couldn’t deliver)!

I want more money…
I totally understand the desire to increase your salary. You’re only human (and trying to keep up with the cost of living in Sydney). However a new job is not always a guarantee of the quickest way to see more money in your bank account. Have you considered talking to your boss about a pay increase? What about suggesting a performance bonus? You’d be surprised how often managers are happy to accommodate you. You’ve sometimes just got to be brave enough to ask. It is after all, cheaper for a company to retain good staff than it is to recruit a replacement. But there is definitely a way to go about asking for this so don’t go in guns blazing demanding a pay increase or else…Be tactful!

Also – I hate to say it, but at the end of the day, a happy work place usually trumps a higher salary (studies prove this). So don’t let money be the only driver to start looking for a new job, it isn’t a sure thing that guarantees happiness in the workplace.

I am bored…
A boring job equals a VERY slow workday. Does your manager know you are looking for more challenges and career progression? Again – this is one of those situations where speaking up might just be the start of something exciting!

Many years ago, when I was ready for a new challenge, I started looking online at jobs. The challenge was that all the jobs that interested me, needed more experience than what I had. So instead, I sat down with my boss and explained that I was looking to grow my skills and experience. I also explained that I loved the company and would love to become a more valuable asset to the business. This was music to my manager’s ears and I was very quickly promoted and given a much broader scope of responsibilities…coincidentally, I was also given an unexpected pay rise!!

I ultimately did leave this job and go on to a new company, but the promotion and skills I grew in that last six months before I left meant I was able to get a the more senior position I was after, with a significantly higher salary (in a job that I would never have been considered for if I hadn’t gained that six months experience prior).

I don’t like my boss…
This is a tough one. As with any personality clashes in the workplace, it needs to be managed carefully. Before you start searching for a manager who you will like, identify what style of manager you think you will thrive under. Having a fun boss who you can be buddies with is great. But often, a boss that pushes you out of your comfort zone and keeps you on your toes might be better for your career in the long run. Even if you don’t “love” your boss, it doesn’t mean they aren’t a great boss.

There are plenty of reasons to start looking for a new job. We hear all of them! Usually, these are valid and real which means it is time to start looking. However, from time to time, it is good to check in with yourself and make sure that your expectations are realistic and you won’t be regretting your decision. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side and sometimes, a little tweak in your attitude or talking to your manager can resolve these niggles without you having to actually jump ship.

If you do think that it is time to start looking for a new opportunity but unsure about why you should be taking this step, have a think about what is important to you. Write a pro’s and con’s list of your current role. See where you sit and if you think it is time to move on to greener pastures, and then let’s connect! We have plenty of jobs on and would be delighted to help you take the next step in your career.

Get in touch with us via – we’d love to work with you.

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