By Megan Abbott
You did your due diligence, asked the right questions during the interview, and took the job. However, now that you are in the role, something seems wrong, and you are trying to pinpoint the problem.
Have you ever experienced this or know someone who has? Sometimes it can feel like you are alone with this experience. For those who are NexGen, new to the industry or career changers, a poor workplace fit can feel especially unsettling because you are already grappling with the stressors of being in a new industry, and now you are wrestling with uncertainty in a new career.
A helpful framework for pin-pointing the concern(s), and then deciding how to respond, is to break down your circumstance into three simple pieces: right job, right boss, and right firm.
I have been lucky enough to have past jobs where all three were satisfied: the right job, the right boss, and the right firm. That perfect fit is when you are the most invested and also find the most rewarding! Most people are satisfied and find contentment if they have two out of the three. On the flip side, when you have only one or none at all, then you may begin to feel it is not the right fit. What do each of these pieces mean and what can you do about them?
• Right job: Do you enjoy the day-to-day activities of your job? Are you feeling satisfied at the end of the day? Are you mentally stimulated with your activities? Is the progression of the job in alignment with your career goals? If not, ask yourself if you can adjust your role to make it more satisfying. If you think you may be in the wrong position, then spend some time breaking down and evaluating each component that is a dissatisfier.
Make a short list of these ideas and find three things on the list that you think you could change and talk with your boss or employer about; perhaps they would be willing to help adjust your role. Also, look around your office and look at the other roles. Is there a position that would be a better fit for you? For example, were you hired for paperwork and realized the details of paperwork are draining but customer service is your jam?
If so, talk with your boss about transferring roles. You would be surprised how open employers are to these types of changes.
• Right boss: Do you feel respected by your boss? Are your ideas valued, your concerns heard, and your ambitions supported? Do you trust them in their roles and management of the team? Can you bring concerns to the table without being judged harshly? Are they interested in your professional growth? If not, was there ever a misunderstanding that was never resolved and needs to be discussed?
Are there differences in personality types that require dedicated help to create effective communication? Is it best to part ways, but stay within the firm? Is there a lateral move or a different team you can be moved to within the firm? Talk with your boss and/or HR.
• Right firm: Do you believe in the integrity and direction of the firm and its leadership? Do you believe they value their employees in both the big ways and the small ways? Have they invested in their employees’ career development and wellbeing? Do you believe the firm has a positive future? If you are uncertain about the fundamentals of the firm, evaluate if your concern(s) is something you can help influence.
Can you suggest an idea to the firm and help implement it? For instance, if you are concerned about a potential lack of diversity, could you create a diversity committee? Evaluate if you can create positive change for your concerns.
After spending time evaluating these things, you may learn your current experience can be the right fit with just a few adjustments, and that’s great! Go and have a conversation with your boss to discuss. You will be happy with your newly adapted roles and responsibilities and because of those changes, you will flourish.
Nevertheless, you may go through this process and realize that you cannot modify enough components to make it the best fit, or maybe your boss was not open to your ideas. And that’s okay too! You will learn from this experience and take that increased personal knowledge with you on your next endeavor.
Regardless of the outcome, remember that there is no right or wrong result. There is value in both and the NexGen community is here to support you in any outcome.
Megan Abbott is the President of Trajectory Financial Planning based in Denver, CO. She is passionate about working with her clients to achieve solid financial foundations in order to achieve the greatest financial trajectories possible. When she is not helping clients, she enjoys hiking with her husband and their duck toller retriever dog, Banksey.
FPA NexGen, a community of the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®), aims to provide support and collaboration for those professionals new to the financial planning profession. With more than 2,500 like-minded young professionals, members of FPA NexGen are ready to share their experiences and further the future of the financial planning profession. Learn more about our engaged community and join the conversation on Twitter.
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