Last Wednesday, we shared part of our interview with Andrea Lucado. Today, we’re posting the second half. We’ll learn how Andrea started working at a company she loved in a job she hated, and how she worked with her supervisor to find a position that was a better fit for her.
4word: Have you ever worked in a position that just was not a good fit for you? If so, what did you learn from that experience?
Andrea: That was actually my first job. For my first eighteen months here, I was in a job that was just a terrible fit. I loved the people, and I loved the publishing industry. The problem was the tasks I had to do every day. I felt overwhelmed because the tasks I was doing went so against my nature. That job was just exhausting.
For the first six months, I chalked it up to being in my first job and having a huge learning curve, but it was still really difficult a year later. Also, I was in the entry-level position on the path to becoming an editor. After I saw what it meant to be an editor, I realized it was not for me. It just took some time to learn that.
One of the things that whole experience taught me was the importance of honesty and having great supervisors. When I finally opened up to my supervisor about wanting to do something else, she was very supportive. I told her that I wanted to stay with the company, but that I felt I was doing a disservice to the her by staying in my current job because I wouldn’t be able to excel in it. She and her boss were very supportive in helping me find another place in the company. I’ve been in my new job for six months now, and it’s just wonderful.
4word: Wow! You really are fortunate to have such great supervisors. For our readers who might be similarly dissatisfied with their current positions, can you tell us how you approached the conversation with your supervisors?
Andrea: Well the conversation started long before I realized I needed to do something. During my 30-day review, my boss said, “We want you to find your best fit in the company. If you overhear Katie, our publicist, on the phone and want to know more about her position, just let me know.” The funny thing was, at the time, I did think that about Katie’s job.
One year later, I brought up that conversation during another performance review and said I was leaning toward the marketing side of the business. My boss advised me to set up lunches with people in the marketing division and find out more about what they do. That was in October. By January, I had met with some people and even found out there was a position open in the marketing department.
I think that’s an important thing to know before you begin that conversation with your supervisor. You need to have an idea of what else you would like to do, and it needs to be feasible. I also think you need to give your current job some time. It took me six months to find my footing in my current job. Lastly, make sure you approach the conversation with an open mind. Don’t charge in there full of your own solutions and options; listen to the advice your supervisor offers. She’ll probably tell you something different from what you wanted to hear, but, in situations like that, your supervisor knows better because she is more experienced.
4word: Good point! What about our readers who don’t have such supportive supervisors? What advice can you offer them?
Andrea: I think it would approach it in a similar way. You should still set up a meeting with your supervisors, tell them what you’re thinking and listen to their response. If they say, “We want you to stay where you are,” then pray about it. Maybe God wants you to walk through a difficult time. It’s also possible that you’ve learned what He wants you to learn from this job, and it’s time to move on.
I think you should give any job at least a year, unless it’s a terrible situation and immoral things are happening. But if the problem is that you just don’t like it or you feel stuck, I think sometimes that’s a really good place to be. These past two years have been one of the most interesting and difficult phases of my life. The adult life can feel very overwhelming, and it’s really not something you can do by yourself without freaking out. It’s been a difficult time, but it’s also been one of my best times with the Lord. God has been saying to me, “You’re going to have to lean on Me and depend on Me.” Once you’ve worked through a difficult situation and have trusted God through it, there’s freedom that comes afterwards.
What about you? Have you struggled in a job that just didn’t fit you? What did you do about it? Let us know in the comments section. And, as always, if you’d like to hear more from Andrea, pay a visit to her blog or follow her on Twitter: @andrealucado.