Quote of the Week – I’ve been up and down this highway far as my eyes can see. No matter how fast I run, I can never seem to get away from me. Jackson Browne
Singer-songwriter Jackson Browne included this line in his song, “Your Bright Baby Blues.” His restlessness about being in the right place is revealed in the next line: “No matter where I am, I can’t help thinkin’ I’m just a day away from where I wanna be.”
As I think of my own career decisions and those of many people whom I have coached, WHERE our work is located is usually a key aspect when we seek to find an “ideal job.” When looking for a job, many people restrict their search to within 50 miles of where they currently live. Others feel that a change of scenery (moving elsewhere) is essential. This is sometimes referred to as a “geographical solution” to low career satisfaction.
I have coached a number of people whose resumes reflected several relocations. They often told me that each new job failed to meet their expectations. Each time they had a poor relationship with their supervisor or co-workers. Or they were dissatisfied with the workload or some other aspect of the job. The bottom line was that the “geographical solution” did not magically improve job satisfaction.
As career coaching progressed, it often became clear that these clients were “running from” (trying to escape) their current jobs more so than “running to” the next one. Yet, each client’s personality traits, work habits and expectations came with them to the next job! Going back to Jackson Browne’s observation, the client could “never seem to get away from” his own thought and work patterns!
A job location seldom overrides the importance of a person’s personality traits or expectations. Some peoples’ personalities clearly point toward entrepreneurship and self-employment. Some need to modify their expectations of bosses and co-workers. Some need to recognize and change their poor work habits (e.g., chronic procrastination) that follow them from one workplace to another.
Personality trait assessments, such as the WorkPlace Big Five and the Career Guider, can help you identify your unique career competencies. They can help you shift your focus from “where” to work to how well a job “fits” your unique strengths and limitations, expectations, etc. Drop us a line or give us a call for more information on these and other personality/career assessments.
Questions for Reflection:
- How often have you thought that a change of scenery (a geographic move) might be the answer to dissatisfaction with your job/career?
- Have you ever made a geographic move and found that you had some of the same issues at your new location?
- How does Jackson Browne’s observation about not being able to “get away from me” compare to your own experiences?
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how well would you say that you “understand” the specific strengths, limitations, values and expectations that you carry with you no matter where your job is located?