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Family Matters: Working Life: I have changed jobs way more than I ever thought I would. When I objectively
looked at my résumé, I was struck with the reality that I have been with many good companies but somehow always found a reason to leave. In some cases, the reason was found for me. What is the key to staying in one job? I’d like to settle in.
BY Dave Durand
In today’s day and age, your résumé is common. Sometimes résumés look like yours because a sincere desire to seek God’s will causes a refined understanding of his will. Sometimes, God chooses some people to suffer. However, the hard news is that, most often, this is a self-inflicted pattern of poor choices. In your case, I don’t know, but I have some things for you to consider.
Unlike the baby-boomer generation, which is made up of individuals who often identify themselves with their careers, later generations identify themselves by their hobbies and interests. So, when a person says, "Hi, I’m Dave, and I’m a kayaker," instead of, "Hi, I’m Dave, an engineer," his loyalty to his personal interests will be greater than to his professional career, creating less job loyalty. This carries over to other areas of life. Metaphorically speaking, do you identify yourself more as a "kayaker," "engineer," "father," "husband," "Catholic," etc.?
Your self-image is at the core of what determines your career track. This plays out in many ways. For example, if you see yourself as a provider, then you are more apt to sacrifice through challenges at work in order to meet the needs of your dependents. If you see yourself as a leader, then you will make career choices that will most likely lead you in that direction. If you see yourself as a singer, then you will make decisions to steer you towards singing and so on and so forth. In the end, your self-image will either serve you well or it could destroy you.
So what’s the difference between a self-image that serves and one that destroys? A healthy self-image is fueled by humility, and a destructive one is fueled by pride. Humility is the very thing that allows you to discern where your true gifts lie. Pride, on the other hand, only serves to pump up a false image — and therefore distracts you with unrealistic self-perceptions about your talents, skills, experience and knowledge. This is very easy to see in others but difficult to see in ourselves. Even as children, we recognize the kids on the playground who pride themselves as great athletes or act like "hot stuff" in other ways but never actually measure up to their self-image.
A false self-image can cause one to endlessly seek new jobs that build one’s ego. So as soon as the next best ego stroke comes along, one may take it.
In simple terms, after you learn who you are, it is best to bloom where you are planted. Generally speaking, the things you don’t like about your jobs are carried with you from place to place because those things are mostly internal.
Catholic business consultant Dave Durand
is online at DaveDurand.com.