Run Away or Stay?

A woman seeks advice about whether or not to stay at her current job.

Your Career Coach

Stay or Run Away?

Dear Michele,

I have a good, stable job in Marketing, but I feel my job is not meeting my “social” needs (I spend all day behind a computer). I dream of running away and being free. I dream of dropping everything to be a white-water rafting guide, or maybe spend a season at a ski resort. I crave constant stimulation and excitement. I want to be engaged, active and working with people!

I’m trying to get my expenses down so I can get out and try some new things – but I really don’t have a PLAN! I’m a free-spirit, but my family believes one should never take a new job except for more money. I don’t care (as much) about the money – I just want to collect experiences!

I flit from one interest to the next – how do I know will keep me satisfied for the Long Haul? Once I get what I was after … I want something else.

— ISO Something Else

Dear Something Else,

You know, I feel like running away today, too (What can I say? It’s cold, it’s rainy, it’s Wednesday). So I know exactly how you feel. When I start to feel this way, I stop and ask myself some questions: What’s going on? Where’s the stress coming from? I know my key strengths and values — is this feeling related to how I’m using them?

Once I get clear on what’s up with me, then I can take some steps to get back into the place where I’m playing to what it is that I do best. You seem to have two choices here — one, you can get more of what you want in your marketing job, by asking for assignments that involve people or travel, or, two, you can start to find a new job that will give you more opportunities to play to your strengths.

You might also want to expand your outside-of-work activities to include some stimulating and exciting activities — like indoor rock climbing, or join a soccer team, or an extreme sports club. I’ve often found that when you put more emphasis on getting your needs met outside of work, your work performance actually improves — because outside activities help you get your life in balance.

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