where to now
And can I leave at all?
Photo: Fanatic Studio/Gary Waters/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty Images/Science Photo Library RF
Jörg, 46, asks: »I've only had my job as department head for six months and I'm already dissatisfied. After a change, I have what I wanted: more responsibility and flatter hierarchies. Still, I feel like I often can't do what I think is right, and that frustrates me. My motivation is already noticeably decreasing. Do I perhaps have unrealistic expectations? I can't quit again. What does that look like on the CV?”
Jörg, 46, asks: »I've only had my job as department head for six months and I'm already dissatisfied.
After a change, I have what I wanted: more responsibility and flatter hierarchies.
Still, I feel like I often can't do what I think is right, and that frustrates me.
My motivation is already noticeably decreasing.
Do I perhaps have unrealistic expectations?
I can't quit again.
What does that look like on the CV?”
First of all I would like to reassure you.
It doesn't hurt your CV if there are shorter engagements.
As long as you can explain them plausibly, that's no problem.
A consistent and logical action to change an unsatisfactory situation will not be seen as a flaw - not even if it is reflected in a short station with an employer.
So it's good that you want to get to the bottom of your dissatisfaction and find out what the story behind it is.
A new job is not always the answer.
You are experiencing this firsthand.
And you already have a faint inkling that your dissatisfaction might have something to do with yourself.
Define what specifically bothers you
To find out, start at your previous job.
What made you unhappy?
Do not only consider the work content and activities, but also the general conditions, such as the people you dealt with.
Finally, and most importantly, ask yourself WHY it bothered her.
What were your expectations?
Behind the greater responsibility you mentioned and the flatter hierarchies in the new job, there seem to be other wishes that have not been fulfilled as hoped by the right position.
What are you really about?
Do you want more freedom of choice?
More meaning, more recognition or appreciation?
Or do you want to make more impact with the things you do?
Is it about your self worth?
Which of all the points have not been and are still not being fulfilled?
What are the relevant emotions and values?
You will find that it is basically about emotions.
You want to feel certain feelings.
And it's about values that you want to live.
This brings us to an essential topic: values.
If you cannot live your most important values in a job, dissatisfaction is programmed.
Is effectiveness important to you when it comes to responsibility, i.e. that your actions have an effect?
But if you're constantly being held back in your job, such as by budget, team, or strategy constraints, you'll always feel frustrated.
responsibility or not.
Perhaps you assumed that with greater responsibility comes greater effectiveness.
That does not have to be that way.
Identify your most important values
You can find a number of value lists online, for example here or here.
Once you have your values clear, it's a great tool to help you make personal decisions with more confidence.
Only when you are clear about yourself and your motives can you find the job that suits you.
And then you can also re-evaluate your current job.
A new job or another solution
It may turn out that a clarifying conversation or a few feasible changes are enough to improve the situation.
Don't assume that everything will automatically get better in a new job.
You may also realize that what you actually want will be inherently difficult to find in any job.
Then it is worth considering whether self-employment would be something.
Your dissatisfaction may also be due to a general change process.
You are at an age when many people are getting to the point where the demands on a task are different than they were just a few years ago.
Effectiveness and meaningfulness are often more important than status and influence.
Maybe you are in this transition phase.
How can you make a sensible decision?
I do not recommend activism or radical change steps.
Instead, connect with people who have had a similar story or who are doing something you find interesting or admirable—like entrepreneurs or freelancers.
Do volunteer work or do some kind of internship for a few days.
There is no "minimum time" that you have to remain in one position before you are "allowed" to change.
If you find that you and your job just don't go together, then don't hold on to it at all costs and waste your time on half-hearted attempts.
Better be happy that you noticed this so quickly and can embark on a new path.