Among loosing weight and quitting smoking, many resolutions this year are centered around improving career opportunities. The College Journal lists the following eight ways to enhance your career in 2007.

  • Create a board of advisers
  • Spread the word
  • Try something new
  • Take inventory
  • Watch your company
  • Beware burnout
  • Get involved
  • Assert yourself

The problem I always have with articles such as this one is they make the assumption you have the power and network to effect change in your organization or that you are not already suffering from a poor culture, burnout, or worse Chronic Cubicle Syndrome.

So let’s assume you are considering posting for a new job in another department or company. How often have you heard some version of the following? “Well Joe over at XYZ left after five years, then he came crawling back looking for his old job.” From my own experience and listening to others I have heard this tale at least 20 times, sometimes as the direct recipient and other times what I liken to an urban legend (a guy you’ve never heard of and can’t contact to confirm did something to someone and a consequence was faced).

Generally this tale comes from one of two people, a peer who is in the same situation as you or a superior, both of which are in fear of loosing control of their situation. More often than not, however, this is one of the last acts of a desperate manager. For whatever reason you decide to move on whether it’s more money, status, benefits or the ability to call your own shots remember to not burn your bridges, but also be wary of those individuals who do not provide objective advice on your decision whatever it may be.

Tomorrow, an exploration of the psychology behind this management tale, in Part 2: Manager, Narcissist or Psychopath.