‘JT & Dale Talk Jobs’ is the largest nationally syndicated career advice column in the country and can be found at JTandDale.com.
Dear J.T. & Dale: Last year, I lost my job. I was glad. I hated my work. I’d always wanted to get into non-profit work and do something meaningful, so I networked like crazy and begged a lot of good friends and colleagues to help me. People went to bat for me, and I landed a coveted non-profit job. Here’s the challenge: I hate the job and now realize I’m not suited for non-profits’ lack of funds and slow rate of change. My concern is by leaving, I’ll lose the respect of all those people who put their names and reputations on the line for me. Advice? — Kellen
J.T.: I’m not going to lie — no matter what you say or do, some of those people who helped you are going to be disappointed. Telling them you want to leave after less than a year is the quickest way to ensure they won’t help you this time. You are going to have to find your next job on your own.
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Dale: That’s true…UNLESS you can make the next step a logical progression. You can’t say to people, “I detest this ‘dream’ job you helped me get.” Instead, try telling them thanks to the new job, you had a grand revelation: You want to accomplish EVEN MORE by combining the best of the for-profit and non-profit worlds, going with a company that does good while making a profit. You then pursue jobs that do just that — perhaps it’s working in, say, the solar industry or the medical field. The idea here is to make the recent help part of your evolution, so instead of telling your friends and colleagues you’re throwing away their help, you tell them you’re building on it; that way, they might want to keep helping.
Jeanine “J.T.” Tanner O’Donnell is a professional development specialist and the founder of the consulting firm, JTODonnell.com, and of the career management blog, CAREEREALISM.com. Dale Dauten resolves employment and other business disputes as a mediator with AgreementHouse.com.
Please visit them at JTandDale.com, where you can send questions via e-mail, or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10019.
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