Making the Right Career Choice: Is the Grass Greener on the Other Side?

The grass is always greener on the other side has been a part of my professional life since I was a teenager. I’ve heard it from family, friends, colleagues and even random strangers. This has followed me around like a plague; the green plague.

Professionally speaking, the more experience and opportunities that one has, the more one realizes this couldn’t be farther from the truth. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Often times, the circumstances are the same in a new opportunity. There are factors that can improve your quality of life at work in a new opportunity. Factors like a boss, more money (we’ll get into this one specifically in a later post), better perks, unlimited time off and many more.  However, there’s one constant that makes this phrase obsolete – YOU.

The Grass Isn’t Always Greener But We All Still Look at the Other Side

For me, a new job is wonderfully exciting. Endorphins are running wild. New challenges are presented. It’s all sunshine and rainbows. I’m on a high. Then, as the dust settles and I start to get into a groove, I begin to see things as they are. The same or new factors come up that make it difficult to maintain my outlook. I start to let little stresses that don’t matter gnaw at the back of my brain. Over time, this can become toxic to my mental state.

This is when I realized the grass is always grass on the other side. Unless you are one of the lucky few that gets to live your dream job, work is exactly that. It’s not fun. It’s stressful. You have to portray yourself in a manner that is suitable for the least common denominator. It has moments and times of greatness. Overall, it’s fine. There’s good and there’s bad. No matter where you work.

This is also the great part. Now that I know I’m the constant factor I can determine which side of the hill I want to stand on. Good and bad factors will be on both sides. I can objectively sit back and examine all of those factors in my current situation. Are these factors that I can live with. Does my boss support me and provide a work life that I can live with and enjoy within the constraints of the factors that I struggle with?


Finding a Company Worth Staying At

If I decide maybe it’s time to pursue my next opportunity, I know that my outlook is the number one factor in determining how happy I am at work. With knowing the grass is always grass on the other side, emotions and expectations can be kept in check. It will still be exciting, but I know it’s not going to be the perfect solution to solve all of my professional stressors. The door is now open to be able to look for the stressors that are impactful to me and my outlook. This ensures I can preemptively recognize the stressors to maintain my positive outlook.

There’s one thing you always need to remember: The grass is always grass on the other side. There will always be factors in another career opportunity that will make it easier or more challenging to maintain your outlook.

However, to borrow another common phrase, you are the master of your own destiny. Even the best boss in the world can’t escalate your career if you don’t bring your best, positive outlook in every situation.

If you are exploring new career choices or want access to information about prior, current, or future bosses grade your boss or search for bosses here on Boss Report Card.

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