We were chatting recently about meeting so many Irish people here on work visas, and people from other countries too who have arrived in the hopes of securing employment due to the drastic economic crises in their homelands.  Like many new Canadians they are in jobs they are not necessarily loving, and all of this got us to thinking about people who find themselves, either wittingly or unwittingly, in a similar situation.

Imagine you are unhappy in your job. Well, it’s easy to suggest that you should just leave. But that’s not always a practical solution. There are many concerns, finances being just one of them.  So is it a job change you really need or is it a change in perspective that’s required? Let’s examine this idea for a sec: some of the benefits you could be enjoying right now in your job could be financial stability, medical/dental coverage, an opportunity to learn from a mentor, or the ability to develop skills that would eventually be a stepping-stone to a different position. Think about these benefits and compare them to the negative aspects that are causing you to consider leaving. If you find that the positives outweigh the negatives, then stay – give it your best and get what you can out of the job. Doing this will help to motivate you and will probably benefit the company as a result. When the time comes for you to move on, you want to be able to leave and be missed, or valued, by your colleagues. Again, your services are a reflection of you first.

If none of the above seems feasible then you should definitely leave. You are not likely to be serving yourself, your customers or your organization well. You don’t want to run the risk of not being granted a positive reference upon departure (which will hinder future opportunities). And you absolutely do not want your mental or physical health to suffer…a path best avoided.

Owning the quality of our service requires us to see the purpose in our work…which reminds me of a story. Brenda and I once spoke to the CEO of a large, well-loved restaurant chain. He told us about an excellent employee who had worked there for 43 years – right out of high school. She adamantly refused to be honoured at a company celebration because she saw her years of work as being so “entry level” to be not worthy of mention.

When the topic of purpose comes up, I think of that woman all the time. She had chosen her job with purpose – the flexible hours gave her time to focus on family and other interests that were important to her. She clearly knew what her priorities were and to what degree she was prepared to devote herself to her work. This clarity had to have contributed to the excellent quality of service she provided to her customers and her company, for which they were extremely grateful.

Do you know what is the purpose of your work? Answering that one question not only inspires ownership but will help you determine both your short term and your long term career goals.