When to Wait and When to Act

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Stuck in the Wrong Job? Knowing When to Wait and When to Act


“I love my job…I can’t believe they are paying me to do what I love.” If you can’t say those words, you may be like many people who struggle in a wrong job match. You could be describing your situation like Christine and Cathy: “I feel like a round peg in a square hole.” Both found a solution—one waited, one acted—and interestingly both were correct.    


#1 Knowing When to Wait 


Christine left the interview certain she was to work for this company. Months later a position opened up and she took it—confirming what she had felt that first day as she rode down the elevator.  


What happened next left her perplexed and wondering. Simply, the job was not a fit. Her skills were unused, unappreciated and misunderstood. Christine’s plan was to refresh her resume and begin another arduous job search. But something inside her suggested she give it a few months before she acted. She chose to wait until she had peace about searching for another position. AND, while she waited something miraculous happened. 


Without any notice, there was a shift in management. An innovative manager with fresh ideas and enthusiasm replaced her former uncommunicative boss. His objective was simple—productivity and harmony. After analyzing Christine’s skill set, interest and assets, her new manager created a brand new position to match her talents, skills and personality! Had she moved on prematurely, she would have missed her miracle of God’s perfect plan. 


So when do you know it’s time to wait? When you feel:  


1.  Confusion

2.  Conflict

3.  Coercion


When do you know it’s time to act? When you have not one but all:


1. Clarity

2. Confidence

3. Compulsion


So wait, until your plan unfolds. Your miracle could be right around the bend.


#2   Knowing When to Act


It’s not wrong to admit you’re the wrong person for the job. In fact, the sooner you admit this to yourself, the happier you’ll be.           


Tension built as the team met. Cathy’s assignment was to sell ads for an upcoming writing project. The deadline came and went. When asked, “How’s it coming?” she had no answer. She simply didn’t do her job. She had not reached her quota, or had even begun to do so. It was obvious that Janet, the project manager, was displeased with her lack of progress and commitment. Janet pondered the four reasons people don’t do, (or act on), what’s expected of them:


1. They don’t know what to do.

2. They don’t know how to do it.

3. They don’t have the resources to do it.

4. They don’t want to do it. 


Cathy knew what to do, had the resources she needed to do her task, and wanted to do the job. She got stuck on how to sell the ads. I watched the dynamics unfold. Janet reiterated the expectations and Cathy made excuses. But as strained as the dialog was, the outcome was a pleasant surprise.


Cathy realized she had taken a job she was not capable of doing. Then she determined a skill, (proofreading), that she could confidently offer the project. It turned out this was a vital missing piece of the project. Together, they agreed to reassign the tasks. It was a win/win/win!


So, if you’re struggling in a job your unsuited for like Cathy, assess your skills and determine your best fit. If you are like Janet, look for the talents and gifts of your staff and plug them into the project so it’s a win/win/win for everyone. If you are like Christine, wait until you have peace to move forward. You will all get positive results.




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