At a Crossroads

I’m at the terrible point in my proessional career where I’ve lost my inspiration.  I’ve been in the same position for almost twelve years now and I’m very good at what I do.  In 2010 I ended up being the top salesman in my area, beating the next best performer by almost 8% in volume.

Sounds great you say?  Yes, except for one thing; I’ve lost my will to continue.

I started my job when I was 29 and my ambition was to find a way to work my way up the company ladder.  I’ve always had outstanding performance evaluations, but there just hasn’t been much opportunity to advance.  The last opportunity was a little under 5 years ago and I was unlucky not to get the post.  I can look at myself in the mirror and admit the company promoted the right guy at that point in time.

My dilemma is I thought another opportunity would have prevented itself since then.  I never figured I would be where I’m at almost 12 years in without advancing.  I see a lot of people ahead of me that don’t possess the same skill sets as I do and it’s very frustrating knowing that it’s still another 5-7 years before they retire.  My patience is beginning to run out but I don’t want to rush into a rash decision.

When you first start a job, you want to give 100% to show your new employers what you are capable of.  You go above and beyond the call of duty because you want to show them they made the right choice in hiring you.  It’s human nature to want to succeed (I think).

I’ve now gotten to the point that I don’t feel the need to give that extra effort.  I don’t have trust in my company that those extra efforts will be rewarded.  For someone looking in from the outside, it would seem like it’s time for me to search for greener pastures or a new challenge.

I’m not sure when it happened, but at some point in the last three years I’ve started to lose my belief in the company I work for.  I’ve noticed it’s not performance that matters as much as the personal connections you make throughout the building.  It’s turned from being a job I really enjoyed to more of a task I need to stay on top of to keep grabbing my paycheck.

I should rephrase that last sentence.  The job hasn’t changed but my expectations have.

I’ll put my hand up and admit that it’s been a while since I’ve given the job my all.  I do just enough to stay in front of the rest of the crowd.  Like I said, I’m an “A” performer and my performance exceeds that of my peers.  I feel I’m underpaid for all of things I do, so I make sure I give just enough to justify my existence.  It sucks, because I never saw myself as one of those guys that just does enough to get by.

I spend way too much of my time in the office online.  It’s my distraction that helps me to get through the work week.  I’ve spent more time making sure I have enough feeds in my Google Reader to help me pass the time throughout the work day as opposed to doing the things my boss thinks I should be doing to generate more business.

I have an opportunity for a promotion over the next 30 days.  It’s in a division of our office that I don’t have much knowledge about.  It would be great for me to learn an entirely new product line and I think a change in what I’m doing would go a long way towards rekindling the flame that has dies out within me.

I’ve put my name into the hat and I’ve got an interview coming on Thursday next week.  If anyone needed a promotion it’s me.  I don’t think the new position comes with much of a pay raise, but the important thing for me is it will give me a renewed sense of purpose.

With the current state of the U.S. economy and employment market, I don’t think it’s a great time to move onto another endeavor.  It would be great to start a new position without leaving the comfort of my current employer.  If for some reason I don’t get this promotion, I may need to do some serious soul searching to figure out what my next move will be.

Wish me some luck…

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