The UK recession is official. You already knew that without Jeremy Hunt saying it. This is my fifth while working and eighth all told.
They’ve all been hard.
So, this week I’m sharing the biggest career mistake I made during a recession.
Deserting my great job for more money.
The boss at the computer firm I worked for brought in a zero increase in pay policy (ZIP). I had a great job and had competed 3-years as a graduate trainee. But I wanted more money.
I left and took a new job with a 20% pay hike. It was for an electrical wholesale distributor. It was awful!
I had zero flexibility for me to use my initiative. The manager and team I joined were zombie like. The situation was soul destroying for me.
I only stayed for a few months, ending up on extended sick-leave for the first and only time in my life. I got another job, which was okay … but it took me three years to get back onto the technology fast track again.
What lessons did I take forward from this experience?
1/ During a recession leaders have to make tough decisions. ZIP was about saving jobs, not about holding me back.
2/ More money is far less important than being in a progressive team, with autonomy and rewarding work. (The money had been enough to live on.)
3/ Focus on things you can control. Like making myself even more valuable and learning to manage my mind and decision making.
Recessions don’t last forever (this particular one was five quarters). So, reflect on the positive in your life right now.
Don’t get caught up in the negative media frenzy about recessions, taxes, and cutbacks? They’re selling advertisement space, not futures.
Where do you want to focus your attention, efforts, and conversations right now?