Sure, people like to believe they have more than two options when it comes to their career. Heck, they probably believe that they have way more than just two options.
However, when you get right down to it and take an objective view, two are just about all that anybody really has. Not only that, but these options are available regardless of the state of the economy and the industry in which you work.
They’re even available regardless of your specific employment situation.
For example, perhaps you’re working for a company that has made a habit of squeezing as much productivity out of its employees as possible, while at the same time keeping its headcount as low as possible. In the wake of the Great Recession, that was commonplace.
On the other hand, maybe you’re working for a company that does not subscribe to the practice of squeezing employees, but instead gives those employees the resources they need to reach greater levels of productivity (including time off). Perhaps the company also provides a great culture and a definite career path within the organization.
So—what are your two options?
#1—Improve your present situation and/or your skills and expertise.
This option includes many methods, such as undergoing additional training to enhance and expand your base of knowledge, attending trade events, becoming involved in industry organizations, or finding a mentor. You can also talk with your immediate supervisor about the company’s long-range plans for you.
If you’re in a negative employment situation, you can have a candid discussion regarding your concerns. If you’re in a positive situation, you can discuss what it will take to rise up the ranks.
#2—Seek out a new, better situation.
Regardless of the situation in which you find yourself . . . it could be better. That might be difficult for those in a good situation to believe, but it’s true. Conduct an honest evaluation.
Are you being paid market wages (i.e., wages commensurate with your skill and experience levels)? Are there other challenges in the marketplace that seem to be more attractive to you? A better situation isn’t always about the money or benefits. If you’re not in a good employment situation, should you “make the best of it” or seek greener pastures?
When you simplify everything, there really are only two options available—improve your situation or change your situation.
Which option are you prepared to take?