Don't move, improve!

Frank Hutton

I seem to remember a (long!) time ago that one of the DIY retail chains used the slogan 'Don't move, improve!' in an effort to get the DIY-inept like myself to purchase wood, plaster and tools to create a mess that would require a real professional to sort out. However, my plea in this instance is likely to result in a better outcome,  as you will be better placed and equipped to undertake the suggested task.

So many people come to me because their job ‘just isn’t what it used to be’.


….they’ve got fed up doing the same thing.

….their boss has changed.

…your role is no longer challenging or is even threatened.

My response in such situations is always to listen carefully though my advice is often the same: "first, let’s explore what can we do to improve things for you where you are." 

Exploring what’s on offer where you are currently working is a really sensible strategy for a number of reasons:

1. Finding a new job can be a painful process 

It’s why most of us put off doing anything about it. Enough said.

2. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater

You joined your existing employer probably with high hopes, and maybe have enjoyed many good years there already. There must be something good about them?

3. Save your energy for you, not a potential new employer

You understand how your existing employer operates and the systems and protocols involved. Having to learn new ones can be challenging and take energy away that could have been directed to improving your satisfaction in a fresh role where you are.

4. It’s not them, it’s you

You may discover that your current dissatisfaction has nothing to do with your job itself . Rather your supplies of patience, energy etc have been depleted by difficulties or situations outside of work. It can be simply that you are no longer enjoying some fulfilling activity that complemented your working life. You’re not happy generally. That spills over. It affects how you feel about work. It affects how your colleagues feel about you, and how they behave around you!

5. The grass is not always greener on the other side

Wow - this applies to so many things in life which seem very shiny and exciting when viewed from a distance. Jobs advertised on websites or promoted to you by recruiters fall into the same category. They are rarely a 360 degree honest assessment of what it offers (fair enough!). Nowhere is perfect. To find the perfect fit, you need to know what size and shape you are first. If your existing employer was once a perfect fit and there’s been no fundamental change e.g. a takeover, then it’s more likely it could be again than a new employer.

6. There’s nothing to lose

By exploring all the options open to you at your existing employer you ensure you are not missing a perfect opportunity right at your feet; and you can then pursue your goal of a better working life with confidence. And you can happily ignore any counter offer you receive when resigning! Money can’t buy happiness. 

But it’s not about just doing nothing and accepting the status quo, but doing something! So how do you move this all ahead? Read my next piece.