Everybody’s life changes, often for wonderful reasons. You will discover two different examples below and will relate to one of them immediately or sometime in the near future. Curious about how to handle them, once they happen? Read on.
Life-Change One: A Wedding. You are planning one of the most important days of your life, your wedding. Your friends and relatives want to discuss every detail. That enthusiasm extends to your office. You assume you are entitled to conduct the arrangements for this once-in-a-lifetime event during business hours and it is entirely up to you how you spend your time doing it. But, is this realistic? What is the best way to handle wedding planning from your full-time job?
Unless you work in a business that derives most of its revenue from the business of wedding receptions, you must understand that the upcoming nuptials are the most important thing in the world to you, but they bring nothing positive to the bottom line of your company and planning the nuptials at your job could possibly (probably) hinder you from being productive at the office. The constant planning (including conversations with co-workers) could potentially create bad relations with your boss and colleagues and even get you fired.
So what do you do? As soon as you begin calling special locations about available wedding dates, it is time for you to schedule a meeting with your boss. In that meeting you should be upfront—tell your boss that you are starting to plan your wedding. You should be prepared to bring up a general list of things that need to be accomplished in order for the wedding to become a reality. Explain that this is a big event for you, however you don’t want your work to be affected by the wedding arrangements and that you are concerned about that. You should ask them (him, her, or them), for their advice on how they would like you to juggle the wedding arrangements around your work time. Is it acceptable to talk to the wedding planner at the office? Is it okay to take a lunch to interview caterers? Would they prefer that you group the vendors’ appointments together and take a few days off to take care of all the preparations and return to work when you can focus 100 percent on your job? Ask for their suggestions. Make sure that you understand each other’s perspective. You will learn what they expect of your behavior during this special planning time and you should abide by their rules if you would like to keep your job, be treated like a professional and be considered to be a good team member by your colleagues.
The outcome? You may not be happy with what your boss tells you, but, that boss is responsible for your paycheck, and if you value your position and acceptance by your officemates, you must be prepared to make compromises. Or, he or she may surprise you by offering suggestions of caterers, and expressing that as long as you meet your business deadlines and don’t take advantage of the situation that they will be flexible around your wedding responsibilities. Expect the worst, and you may be pleasantly surprised. Good luck!
Life-Change Two: Something Else. What about the majority of women who are not considering marriage, but are in a position to consider something else: changing jobs. In response to my last article that focused on current trends in interviewing, a reader wrote and asked “why interview and potentially change your life (by making a career change), if your life is not broken?” I want to answer that question.
For many years I have been telling working-professionals: if you are in the same position at one company for more than four years (and you are not an owner of the company nor one of the chief executives), you are becoming like your computer or cell phone after that period of time—less useful, less marketable, more obsolete. After four years, it is time for an upgrade, whether it is a promotion, a new job at your current company or a new job at another company. That is one reason to make a change. Here are some other potential reasons.
Because you want to.
Because a family situation makes it necessary.
Because you can.
Because you have no choice.
Because you are unhappy.
Because you are bored.
Because you want more.
If you have decided that you can identify with one or more of these reasons to consider a career change, you have taken the first step in making that job change a reality. And you have also legitimized and answered for yourself “Why do I want to make a change?”
Now that you have answered why, you can continue to the next step in your career strategy: how? If you need help formulating that next logical step, “how do I get there from here, how do I make it happen?” register for my June 16th career lab and workshop. For more information, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line of “Trying It”.
Please note that attendance is limited. If you would like to attend, respond quickly so that your place can be reserved. Unfortunately, we are unable to honor last minute reservations at the door.
Susan Goldberg’s company, SGES, conducts retained senior level executive searches for businesses and provides career coaching for both executives and recent college graduates. Her website is www.susangoldbergsearch.com