Keeping Perspective and Saving Your Sanity (and Job)
Ever sit at your desk and wonder if the grass is greener at a different company? Or possibly even as an entrepreneur?
You’re definitely not alone if you have. Studies have shown that 77% of full-time employees are actively looking for a new job. And a whopping 35% start within a few weeks of joining a new company.
If you do make the switch, the only real way to guarantee things will be different somewhere else is to make sure YOU are different.
This might sound like hard work, but it actually isn’t. It’s simply a matter of broadening and deepening your self-awareness, and taking responsibility for what is actually in your control to change.
Many intrapreneurs, myself included, have realized with hindsight that we could have done things differently. We didn’t have to feel as frustrated as we did, and we didn’t have to leave our jobs in search of greener pastures.
To help you gain the benefit of the 20-20 hindsight we’ve experienced, I’ve written a very short story and a series of questions you’d most likely benefit from taking a few minutes answering. Even if you aren’t day-dreaming about greener pastures, you’ll likely still find this trick worthwhile and valuable.
Don’t let the length of this fool you. Rich insights into yourself can be gained if you answer the questions honestly. Notice your reactions as you read it, and try to go a little bit deeper than your initial responses to the questions.
Hint regarding the trick: We often give our friends the advice we should really be giving ourselves.
Ready? Here goes…
Your phone is ringing. Caller id reveals it’s your friend Jessica Fusion.
The thought running through your mind is she often calls you when she is in crisis mode and needs to vent.
She’s an intrapreneur at an investment bank. Seeing as it’s the middle of the workday you figure it must be important.
Picking up the phone, you notice the familiar voice on the other end of the line sounds more on edge than usual.
“Seriously, I think I’ve hit refresh on my inbox about 14 times today. No joke. Am I going mad?
I sent my boss a beautifully crafted email marked urgent 3 days ago. Honestly, you should read it. I’m going to send it to you. It’s a work of art.
I took your advice too. I know you don’t think I ever listen to you, but I do. Like you said, I made sure I highlighted all of the benefits it’d bring my boss and the company if he’d only say yes to this time sensitive opportunity.
You’d think he’d have the decency to respond, right?!
Ok. I get that he’s away at a conference. I do. And fine, there is an 11-hour time difference. But I know him. He checks his email day and night. Doesn’t matter if it’s his son’s birthday party, or his anniversary dinner with his wife.
Ok. Just sent it to you. And refreshed again. Still nothing.
I’m seriously going to miss out on a game changing opportunity…
I got a call 3 days ago from a leading expert in my field who had caught wind of the project I’ve been working on over the past 8 months. She told me she’s handpicked an intimate group of forward-thinkers in the social investment world to join a workshop in Sweden at the end of the month, and guess what, she wants me there! Getting connected with these people could really help give my project validity and momentum!
Honestly, I can’t blow an opportunity like this. It won’t come around again if I do. I know my boss knows this. He has to, right?
I bet he’s jealous I got the call and he didn’t.
I’m honestly wondering if I should finally bite the bullet and quit my job. I could then go to the workshop and represent myself and see who would be interested in working with me.
I know we’ve never seen eye-to-eye, not like my old boss and I. But I really thought things would change after what happened last month. I can’t remember if I told you this or not. But it was amazing. At a meeting I had with my boss and his boss, his boss praised my project. My boss didn’t say a word. Not a peep. Can you believe it?
Oh, an email just came through from him… Damn. It’s about our team away day in 3 months time. Seriously, I’m going to write him now. This isn’t right…”
Before Jessica opens a new email and starts to write to her boss, think through your response to her based on your answers to these questions:
What do you think Jessica is thinking and believing about her boss? How could this be helpful and/or unhelpful to her?
What do you think Jessica is thinking and believing about herself? How could this be helpful and/or unhelpful to her?
If you were to be completely honest with her, at no risk to your relationship, what advice would you give your friend?
Now ask yourself this:
What advice did I give Jessica that I could really benefit from taking on board myself?
Taking a step back, and detaching yourself emotionally from a situation gives you the ability to view it in a totally different way, and therefore discover new solutions. The trick is this… In the future, ask yourself at any given time, “What advice would my best friend honestly give me right now?” Ask yourself this question, and similar questions to the ones above, and I bet you’ll start to gain new perspective in moments of tension and frustration. And who knows, you may even find yourself viewing your current job as the greenest pasture out there!
I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to share in the comments below or to me directly at Heidi @HeidiKikoler.com. If you’re curious to find out how we could work together to help you take this even further, then definitely get in touch, and we can have an initial conversation.
This is part of a series on Intrapreneurship and Personal Resilience, authored by Heidi Kikoler.
Heidi Kikoler is a Resilience and Effectiveness Coach for Internal Change Agents. Having been a social intrapreneur herself at Sir Richard Branson’s corporate foundation, she is uniquely placed to understand the mindset and unique challenges faced by employees seeking greater meaning in their work, and those on a mission to change their businesses and organisations into forces for good from the inside out. She has spent over 6 years working with social intrapreneurs, innovators, corporate responsibility professionals, and third-sector employees. She applies proven personal development and coaching techniques to help change agents find solutions to the challenges they face in staying effective, resilient, and feeling fulfilled. Heidi regularly explores this often unspoken, but incredibly important area, in her blog We Are Good Rebels.
She is an advisor to the League of Intrapreneurs, and a member of The International Coach Federation and The Human Agency. Heidi has honed her niche skillset in, and deepened her passion for coaching, social intrapreneurship, and corporate social innovation through working closely with many leading thinkers, brands, and change agents, including: The University of Oxford, Virgin Unite, Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Atlantic, The League of Intrapreneurs, Ashoka, Shell, BP, Imaginals, and Burton Snowboard’s Chill Foundation.
She has trained with Coaching Development in London, earned a MSc from Oxford in Environmental Change and Management, and a BBA from the Schulich School of Business in Toronto, Canada.