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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Unhappy Promotion

Let’s face it: you are good at what you do. In fact, you are so good that you keep getting promoted. While the promotions were exciting and re-affirming to start with, you may now have been promoted so far away from what you enjoy and do well that you are no longer happy in your career. This is a story we see time and again with many of the executives we coach and seems particularly frequent with those who previously held roles as technical professionals or individual contributors.

As the Wall Street Journal reports, maybe it's time to consider moving back down the ladder – perhaps scaling back, a lateral transition or a new venture that will help to bring back your spark. It’s a matter of doing some self-assessment… what is it that you value, do well, are interested in and find immensely satisfying?

Valuable insight can be gained from assessing what work you most want to do and what work environment would best suit you. To achieve this insight, you can systematically analyze your career experience and ask yourself: What was satisfying? What was not?

Career satisfiers are those things that get you excited to get up and started in the morning. What parts of your career are the most fun, exciting, fulfilling and meaningful? On the other hand, career dissatisfiers are those aspects of your career that you simply tolerate, including duties and responsibilities that you would rather avoid if you could. Don’t limit your analysis to just the tasks you complete at work. Consider also the organization and its culture, too.

As Jack Welch, former CEO and Chairman of General Electric, said so well: “What is important yesterday may no longer be important today.”

How satisfied are you with your career?

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