My next move

I feel incredibly demotivated at work. My company has recently undergone a major restructure and morale is low. I have started looking around for other jobs, but feel my current experience has coloured my view of HR in general. How can I re-invigorate my approach to work so I can get the best out of my current role and maximise my chances of finding a better job elsewhere?

You need to be very clear about whether you are reacting to the sector, the organisation, the role, or just your job. Here are some questions you should ask on each:

  • Sector: Do you still find the sector you are in intrinsically interesting – the sort of thing you might like to talk or read about in your own time?

  • Organisation: If the sector is still interesting, look at the organisation. Is it typical of your sector? Is the pattern of restructuring common to the industry?

  • Role: How much of a good match is the role for your skills and enthusiasm?

  • Job: How far is your view coloured by your specific job, and possibly your manager?

It’s important to put your feelings in context. Is everyone else feeling the same way about things? If it really is a general trend, be careful not to get caught up in a general wave of cynicism – it’s entertaining enough to indulge in a bit of coffee station contempt, but it quickly becomes your most frequently adopted position, which can become a real career stopper.

Remember that restructuring always means change, and all kinds of roles and possibilities can open up fairly unpredictably. The trick is to keep looking positively at what’s on offer, working out your personal wish list, and communicating it assertively enough for it to be memorable. Make sure, however, that every time you present your wish list you link it strongly to the needs and goals of the organisation.

HR is too broad a field to write off because of the ups and downs of one company. Think about talking to people in HR roles in sectors that are intrinsically more exciting to you, and give serious attention to finding an organisation on the upslope of growth.

By John Lees, career strategist and author

John Lees is one of the UK’s best-known career coaches and the author of the best-selling How To Get A Job You’ll Love (McGraw-Hill). The book is now available in its 2007/08 edition. 

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