After my holiday arc and a book review, I thought it would be nice to delve back into a personal development and/or career post. For many people, finding the ‘right’ job is always a struggle. If you’re like me and have ever wondered if you’re in the right job, consider the idea of the three C’s. I found this to be a simple yet effective way to decide if your job is worth the hassle.
So first lets define The Three C’s.
As you can probably guess, The Three C’s are three words starting with ‘C’ which will allow you to explore the merits of staying in a current job. There are a number of different versions of this but I’m going to focus on the following three:
- Cash – i.e. your renumeration plus any benefits
- Career – i.e. opportunities to develop your skill set and take on new challenges
- Connections – i.e. development of your professional network
The aim of the game is obviously to achieve all 3 (i.e. your dream job or as close to it as possible). The reality however, is that most of us are lucky to get two out of the three. As such, when your work life quality drops to a one or even zero, it’s the clearest indication that you’ve got to go.
At the time of publishing this post, I have now changed companies. It’s always hard to leave a company/business which you have an emotional attachment to. However, when I think of it objectively and not emotionally, I know I’ve made the right choices, especially when I consider that I probably had half a ‘C’ in my previous job.
To give you more context, let’s go through the C’s.
At some point, you will all reach a point where you think you are underpaid. This doesn’t matter so much when you are promoted (with a subsequent pay rise) or you have performance bonuses built into your contract. However, the reality is that these days, you basically have to wait for someone to retire/get made redundant before you can realise a rise in salary. As such, when I was approached by a rival company, I was tempted but undecided. The offer was an opportunity to obtain a raise in salary but it wasn’t enough as accepting an offer based purely on cash would only give me one ‘C.’
Let’s now look at the second ‘C,’ career. The structure of my previous company was great in my first three years as it afforded me opportunities that normally a graduate straight out of university would have to wait some time for. This structure took me all around Australia, where I was able to develop a highly sought after skill set. Whilst this was great initially, the principle of diminishing returns holds true. Things like doing the same thing day in day out without learning anything new and the frustration with living out of a suitcase starts to set in. Eventually, you reach a point where you know you’ve stagnated and it’s obvious that you’ve lost this ‘C.’
Fortunately, the offer that came through provided a degree of assurances that my career could/would be reinvigorated. When I sought some assurances from my past employer, it became obvious that this was something they couldn’t commit to. As such, it became apparent that I would have to change companies to reclaim this ‘C.’
The third ‘C’ is a tricky one because it’s harder to achieve when you’re first starting out in your career. However, if you’re proactive or in my case constantly shifting in geographic region, you can start to build a strong network both internally and externally. Once again, if this aspect continues to go from strength to strength, then you can feel comfortable knowing that you’ve gained or retained this ‘C.’
In my case, the living out of a suitcase aspect of my work meant that after the initial pleasantries were done and dusted, it meant that I was stuck in a state of limbo where I was in danger of losing connections and also unable to strengthen existing ones. With no obvious internal solution, this reinforced my decision to leave as after all, there’s no better way to make new connections than joining a new company.
With this all said and done, I would like to objectively say I have made the right decision. However every job is a risk, full of unknowns and surprises. Therefore, the most important aspect is that the possibility of achieving The Three ‘C’s stays alive. If that fire can keep burning, then you’ve probably made the right decision. As such, for the time being, it looks like I have achieved The Three ‘C’s.
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