When it comes to thoughts that I have on love and work, I’ve come to one absolute truth: “Understanding your worth means putting people in difficult positions that force them to either give you what you deserve or walk away.”
Of course, in the dating world, that is prime advice for any human being. But it’s dawned on me, that is exactly how 20 somethings and 30 somethings look at their professional careers as well. We know our worth, we understand it through and through, and if a company or an employer can’t rise to the demand we hold of ourselves, we walk away.
We know that life is too short and we know that life is especially too short to spend most of it at a job that is uninspiring and meaningless. We believe that our talents, our creativity and our ambitions are worth so much more than to remain at a company that does nothing to help us grow.
And, so we are willing to walk away – without remorse. Actually, feeling a bit of freedom and exhilaration because, deep down inside we know that life has so much more to offer.
That is the very reason why young professionals are job hoppers. But don’t just blame it on us, we are not the only ones. Today, the average employee only stays at one company for less than 5 years. We will hop around until we find the place that matches our worth. Not just our time or our salary expectations. But, our significance.
We will hop around until we find a place that challenges us, inspires us and engages us progressively. Blame our parents. They taught us to never settle for less than we deserve – in all aspects of life.
The real question is: Do companies even realize how important this concept is to us?
Not too long ago, I put in my two-weeks’ notice for a job that caused me so much stress and dissatisfaction. Within those two weeks, I heard the most compliments I had ever heard while working there and I received more responsibilities and tasks that I actually enjoyed doing. In those short weeks, I was asked to be a part of opportunities I enjoyed and I was challenged in areas that I always wanted to develop.
But it was too late.
I had already decided way before my resignation letter that I had to go. The reality is that if our current company doesn’t see our worth, eventually another company will. Just like no one should stay in a relationship where they are not appreciated, we will eventually walk away from our position for something better.
On the other hand, in personal relationships we don’t just quit without giving it all we can. At least, in the relationships we sincerely care about. We are willing to put in 150% as long as the efforts are reciprocated.
It is only when we realize that the other person is incapable of putting in those same efforts that we decide to pack our belongings and leave. Only, after we’ve tried and tried that we decide that the energy, time and effort invested is not worth it.
We put in so much effort into making things work with our friends, family members, love interests, and significant others, but we don’t always do the same when it comes to our careers.
It seems like today, many young professionals just take what they can get, fit in where they can, quit and repeat. But our careers should be so much more than that.
Often times, we give up before we even actually submit our resignation letter. We subject ourselves to gloomy mornings and long draining days. We convince ourselves that we are meant to only live on the weekends and, that this is just how life is meant to be.
But before giving up, you should ask yourself: “What could I be doing better to make the most out of this experience at this company?”
And, if you’re not sure, there are a bunch of things you can do.
You can make an effort to go out of your way to help someone every day (yes every day), you can start dressing better to work (cause when you look better, you feel better), you can start speaking up more often, you can start interacting more with others in the office, you can suggest your solutions to problems you hate…the list goes on and on.
Still, after you’ve tried and tried, the same way you would in a relationship you truly care about and if you are certain that you have put in 150%, then know your worth and wave that job goodbye.
But, if you know that there are areas that you can still improve, strengthen, and develop, then put in that extra energy and don’t quit until you give it all that you can.
Treating your career like you treat your relationships will certainly bring you more rewards than you can imagine.
How do you approach the work you put into your work? Let us know in the comments below!
Adunola Adeshola was the girl always searching for jobs in her free time and having weekly mini meltdowns about her career. Now, she is the founder of employeeREDEFINED and she teaches driven, purpose-minded millennials how to get more out of their careers and lives. Visit employeeREDEFINED.com for more tips and advice on how to get unstuck in your career and life.