Working Through Career Wanderlust
Instagram and similar social media platforms are filled with pictures of friends, acquaintances, and even complete strangers posing in front of waterfalls, dancing at music festivals, and experiencing different cultures around the world. As such, it should come as no surprise that wanderlust, the strong desire to travel and experience new places, is prevalent in many of our lives. While this feeling may be limited to vacations and travel plans for some, for others it extends into career choices and overall job satisfaction. If you find yourself wanting to switch jobs often, feeling restless when you are in one role for too long, or anxious to find something new, chances are that you are experiencing career wanderlust. While the desire to experience different companies and roles can help us to advance our careers, giving in to it too often can be detrimental.
The following are just a few of the issues that plague those with career wanderlust, and the steps to take to keep your career on track.
Problem: You find yourself looking for new jobs… a lot….
Solution: Do you find yourself looking for different career opportunities before the honeymoon period at a new job is over? Be careful with how quickly and frequently you search for something new. Investing too much time and attention on the mere potential of a new job, while still adjusting to your current role, can cause some serious issues with your productivity, performance and the impression that you are making. When you feel that itch to look at job openings, talk with your manager and team members to find ways to challenge yourself and become more engaged instead. You may be able to quiet that restless feeling through experiences in your current role instead of spending time seeking new employment opportunities.
Problem: Job satisfaction feels impossible…
Solution: Working with wanderlust makes it difficult to find true job satisfaction. Afterall, if you are always looking for the next opportunity, you are not allowing yourself to appreciate what you currently have. When you start feeling restlessness and ready to tackle a new adventure, take a moment to write a list of the reasons that you chose to apply for your current role and what you like about the direction your career has taken. It is also worth mentioning that job satisfaction often comes from the relationships that you form with your coworkers. Constantly switching jobs makes it practically impossible to form those crucial bonds that lead to job satisfaction. As a result, the next time that you are feeling restless in your career, go and grab coffee with a team member and work on forming those friendships that will make your current job worth sticking around for.
Problem: Changing jobs too frequently makes you unmarketable…
Solution: Once you have given into career wanderlust a few times, the question of commitment will inevitably start becoming a topic of conversation in interviews. Interviewers will be wondering if you are capable of committing to a job or if hiring you will end up being a costly mistake for their company. The solution to this problem is relatively simple- don’t switch jobs more frequently than once every two years. For those with career wanderlust, this is no easy task; however, it will make you more marketable when the right opportunities come along.
Wanderlust and the desire to seek out new opportunities can be a strength in your professional life if you don’t allow it to get the best of you. Be intentional with how frequently you make career changes to keep yourself on your chosen career path.