It can be easy to get too settled in a job. You know things aren’t quite right but there is enough good that you don’t give it much thought. You show up for work and you do what is required. There may be days when you give your best and other days where you realise you have squandered most of the day because of issues, challenges or a lack of motivation.
This is where I have been for a while with work. It has become increasingly difficult to focus on doing the things I need to do. I get kinda stressed about time off because I know I have not always been working as hard as I can.
Then something happened this week. Something that made me really stop and think about what I am doing. My boss was unwilling to approve a request for leave. Just over two weeks was all I wanted. I can kind of understand his point, the project we are working on is not going as well as we would have liked and he is keen to impress the funder.
Yet, that refusal combined with a conversation with a co-worker has changed how I see things. A few people have left in the last year and my co-worker is planning to leave soon. Then I start to look back on my time in the current job. I have not been working on projects that really inspire me. Also large parts of the work are not publishable. This means I have not done as much as I should have done to further my career. The reason, to help the boss out and to be seen as a team player. In short, I have been too nice and helpful.
The holiday I wanted was a trip to Italy with IT guy. Originally he was planning to visit South African to take care of some family stuff. Then I made the mistake of telling him about the Opera Festival in Verona. It turns he has always wanted to visit Italy and it gives him a chance to visit his brother. Something he really needs to do. Somewhere along the way our plans evolved into two weeks in Italy. We were both getting excited and he wanted to start booking things. Instead I had to tell him the boss would not approve my leave.
So this weekend I find myself job hunting with renewed energy and focus. I am busy refining my LinkedIn Profile and considering which other sites to use. The challenge is how to define my search parameters. Things are going well with IT guy and I am optimistic about a future together but it is too soon to plan a career move around him.
I know now, that my time with my current employer is nearing an end. The challenge is to stay professional and give my best until I am ready to make a move.