Job Change is not easy when family & friends put pressure on you to stay in a job misfit

Krista English came to see George Dutch after seeing his name in the Yellow Pages and then looking at his website. “She was at her wits end with a job she was supposed to like,” said George.

Krista had been a nursing case manager and, since she spent a great deal of her time working with insurance companies and attorneys, she and her family thought it would make sense to get an MBA (Masters of Business Administration).

After finishing her Masters degree, she got a good job at a bank working with small businesses. “Life in the business world is quite different from nursing and in some ways she had not thought about before,” said George.

“As a nurse, I am 100% patient driven. The jobs I got after my MBA were totally sales oriented models. That makes sense in business—and I did well—but it really wasn’t me,” said Krista.

“I did so well as an Account Manager & Financial Advisor, they wanted to promote me into management where I wouldn’t work with clients. I not only got pressure at work, but from my family and society. We’re expected to want to be promoted.”

“Krista was not in an unusual situation,” said George. “She was being torn apart by worry and anxiety. She was in the wrong work environment.

“Often a bad situation is made worse by a number of stressful factors, such as unreasonable workloads; or the prospect of an impending layoff due to a change in the economy; or the expectation that they be available 24/7; or a change of job conditions from flex-time at home to face-time in the office; or the fear of being squeezed out of being competitive due to lack of educational credentials; or the unspoken pressure from family to maintain a high income at any price.”

Whatever the circumstances, Krista felt an overwhelming need to get out of her current job field. George said that her short term goal was to avoid the pain. The long term goal was to find a better job fit…if she only knew what it was! In the meantime, her priority was to maintain or improve her compensation package.

“There are two contradictory goals at work here,” according to George. “She wants a new job that will give her more vitality and joy, but she also wants to avoid financial insecurity.

“Krista was an example of the essence of being stuck,” said George.

“I had no energy on weekends,” said Krista. “I was drained. It took everything I had to go in to work 8-5 Monday to Friday. I had nothing left for the weekends.”

“In order to avoid a future that might be financially insecure, she couldn’t take action to move out of her current job field because she didn’t know what else to do; therefore, to move immediately meant she might end up financially insecure. Damned if she does take action, damned if she doesn’t.

She was likely to remain stuck for as long as she seek a long term solution to a short term problem.

“A career transition is not the solution to a short term problem-an unpleasant work situation. A transition takes time. It is best to do during a period of stability without overwhelming financial or psychological pressures. A transition is oriented around creating the kind of life you want; it is not oriented around problem solving,” according to George.

George said that, in order to solve her problem, she needed to learn to separate her contradictory goals. Her mismatched work environment is a short term problem requiring a short term solution.

As distasteful as it was for her, she realized that her best chance of getting out of her unpleasant environment, while maintaining her current pay check, was to do the same thing as a job change for another organization; or, cross the street, and purchase the services (that she was selling) for large organizations. Or, repackage her skills and market them for a related but different job target.”

George said, “She realized that the first thing she needed to do was take care of herself by getting out of her mismatched work environment. She needed to get into another job for the SHORT term in order to build up the capacity to make a transition over the LONG term. So first she had to get out of the crisis and take the time to transition.”

She did that by working as a program coordinator and teaching some clinical skills for a medical group.

“Making progress towards a long term goal is about building the life you want,” said George. “She understood that her long term goal was to have a career that fits her deepest values and top priorities and that it is possible but takes time and energy, two things that are in short supply when in crisis.

“Her JobJoy assessment helped her become more conscious of who she really was, and provided her with an impetus to change her situation,” said George.

“George was amazing,” said Krista. “He had me write a narrative of my life. What he does is the most amazing thing. He helps people understand their core purpose. Who they are and what that looks like in their careers. He helped me see that I was out of alignment with that.

“That’s huge. He was able to give me permission to be me. I kept hearing ‘You have a great job,’ but it wasn’t me. He sort of gave me my music back.”

Krista is now a rehabilitation case manager again, but now she enjoys all the things she liked about it in the past and a lot more because she knows now how to leverage her motivational pattern into her work. She works with a multi-disciplinary team to treat individuals with catastrophic injuries, such as brain injuries due to car accidents. She uses her influencing talents that better align with her deepest values to be of service and leave her mark on people by nurturing their potential or encouraging growth.

“Now my current job is awesome. I still use all my business skills. And I work directly helping patients. My salary has gone up by about $35,000 in a year and a half.

“Jobjoy is absolutely a possibility and George can help it happen.”

~with Nick Isenberg

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