Career Choices - You Decide | Motivating and Inspiring

Career Choices - You Decide

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My response below was inspired by this student's question

You are asking a powerful question that many ask daily: "Should I stay with what I have... or try something new?"

It can be a very tough decision to make, and each one of us can only answer it ourselves, drawing from our own internal direction. Here, I will mention some of the factors that would affect my decision:

I think of it like choosing a close friend or relationship ... hold out for the best! I realize that 'this is the real world' and that this ideal may not be realized immediately, but Please allow me to discuss these:

About 4 years ago, as a newly minted general manager for a chemical blending facility near Toronto, I was faced with several leadership challenges. When I was first appointed as (acting) GM, the plant was not even covering its costs and I was told that it either turned around or else!

I met with all employees and explained the severity of the situation and that we would all need to do what we could to increase sales and improve performance / reduce operating expenses. They all appreciated my honesty although were very nervous about their futures.

I then started working with each department head to determine how I could support their efforts. At first, they thought that I was looking to fix the blame for inefficiencies, but over time, they realized that I only wanted to help them find solutions.

They learned to trust me; as when things sometimes went poorly, I told my boss that I was the person in charge so was responsible rather than pointing my finger at one of my direct reports. When we gained new business and it directly improved our bottom line, I praised the efforts of the entire team to senior management.

The plant workers became more and more motivated and now they all seem to really enjoy their jobs and I feel honored to be their leader. Do we still have challenges? Yes, but the strength of the team is such that we all pull together to face them 'as one'; kind of like a family facing life's ups and downs.

Leave it: Now returning to the choices mentioned earlier. The final option is to leave a situation that, for whatever reason, does not / will not align with our core values and expectations. Please allow me to stress that we should remain professional and leave the relationship intact so that all involved would be inclined to speak well of us in the future. Our previously employer (no matter what were the conditions) still holds a great impact on our future endeavors. So, try not to burn any bridges that you may later need to use!

Good luck in finding the answer to your important question!

Copyright © 2009 Edward G. Drennan


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