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Jobs can be a lot like dating. When you initially start dating someone, there’s usually a lot of excitement. The possibilities seem endless for your future. You feel like you’re on cloud nine. Then, it happens. The moment comes when you realize your significant other isn’t cutting the mustard anymore. You have bigger goals now, but your partner doesn’t. You still care for this person, but it just doesn’t seem like they are heading in the same direction as you anymore. You’re a new person now.

Jobs can have the same effect on you. Maybe you started off thinking “This is it! I have the job of my dreams.” Yet, after a while, you realize you would rather work in a different position fighting a slightly different problem. Maybe you no longer want to teach the students. Instead, you want to serve as the superintendent over the entire county. Maybe you no longer want to be the builder working for another company. Now you want to own a company that provides housing for battered women. Or maybe, you realize being the president of a company isn’t quite what you expected. The money is awesome, but you’re barely able to spend time with your family.

Whatever your reason, just know that it’s okay to let go of where you currently are. People change. Needs change. Values change. Change is a part of our growth. It is not something to fear, but to embrace. Sure, it can be scary to change. I mean, it’s a big world out there, and you don’t know which way to go sometimes. However, it would be a huge disservice to yourself and others if you decide to stay somewhere that is no longer meeting your needs and values. Don’t stay for the wrong reasons.

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So, what do you do if your values and needs change?

  1. Talk with your supervisor.

What can be accomplished by doing this? Well, your supervisor may be able to give you insights on another position within the company that may be better suited for you. He or she could recommend you for it based on your job performance so far.

If it’s a situation where you love the job, but it’s eating away at family time, your boss may be able to work out a schedule that is more family-friendly for everyone (you never know). Depending on your job, your boss could host a family-friendly event for the company or your boss could pitch the possibility of offering day care services to the CEO.

I know these options don’t work for everyone, but it never hurts to think a little outside the box. The guys and gals in charge are always looking for ways to retain good employees because let’s face it, satisfied employees don’t mind working hard for the company.

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  1. Go on the hunt.

If you’re not able to change the culture of your job to fit your values, then you may need to look for opportunities elsewhere. Before dashing to the job ads, make a list of what really matters to you. Do you want a job that has family-friendly hours? One that has opportunities to earn more? Maybe you want your company to help pay for your expenses as you consider going back to school to specialize in your craft. Maybe you value growth, and want the opportunity to move up in rank. Marinate on these things as you go on your quest to find something more tailored to the new you. If possible, try talking to people who already work where you’d like to, and see if the company’s values really do align with yours (just make sure you have reliable sources).

  1. Start up your own gig.

You know, if you can’t find somewhere that allows you to be the new you, you should consider starting up your own. Now, this option is not as easy as it seems, and it is not for everyone. Just know that you will still have to put in the work to make it work for you. If you truly feel led to create your own company, by all means, have at it! Do your research to see what licenses you may need and survey your area and target audience to see if there is a need for your services. There’s a lot that goes into starting a business, so make sure you do your homework before putting in that two week notice. You may want to also consider how you will fund your new venture. Trust me, the money is out there. You just have to find it!

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It can be pretty tough working for a company that doesn’t make you happy, doesn’t allow you to grow, and doesn’t align with your purpose. So many people stay with a company for all of the wrong reasons. We discussed some of those reasons in this series. One of the big reasons is fear. There is no guarantee your next job will live up to your standards. I have to be honest with you about that. Yet, you have to make the decision to do what’s best for you, and you have to hold yourself accountable for your decision. No more making excuses for why you can’t let go of your job. It’s time to decide once and for all what you really want to do. I’ll leave you with a quote from John Greathouse: “Never let the odds keep you from pursuing what you know in your heart you were meant to do.”

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