Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Pretend your job is an internship

Having a job is nice.
You have income, which means you can do stuff when you’re not at your job.
It gives you a reason to get up in the morning.
And something with which to define your long-term plan.

But sometimes, we hold on to jobs we shouldn’t. We get caught up in the comfort of it all, and don’t grant ourselves the simple privilege of asking: is this even a good fit?

And if it’s not a good fit, it may work for a while – you’ll put on a smile and go about your job like it was made just for you. But eventually, the whole charade will wear on you, and you will either be found out or ultimately "out" yourself.

So, before you get to that point, ask yourself: What if this were an internship?

Too often, we stop being critical about our jobs once we’ve secured salaries for ourselves. Maybe we’re reluctant to upset the employer, or we’re afraid of what will happen if we’re unemployed in the real world, or maybe we feel guilty about all the resources the company spent getting us on board, or maybe we really, really like that paycheck.

And while that's all understandable, instead ask yourself: what if this whole "job" thing were actually an internship? What if the obligation was for three months and nothing more?

Would you hope for an offer at the end of the summer? Would you strive to make the job that you have right now a permanent position if it really wasn’t? Or would you, in your job that you hold now, instead sit down with the boss to say, “thanks, but no thanks. This isn’t for me” and pack up your stuff? If so, would you have done it already? Or would you maybe be in the middle, at neither end of the spectrum. You're still feeling out the job you have now - maybe it's okay. Not great, not horrible, just good.

And if that's the case, take another few months to figure out where you stand.

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