Don’t Fall to the Status Quo: Define Yourself and Your Professional Growth

Work life and workplaces have changed drastically in recent years, and with that change has come many challenges for some, as well as great opportunities for others. While this certainly isn’t a newly discovered obstacle in the workplace, it is becoming more apparent that employees are willing to leave workplaces frequently and have less commitment to organizations. Many articles that are written and many stories on this subject point the finger at individuals for not being satisfied with work and are always searching for a job with higher pay or better benefits. On the other side, the lack of good organizational culture and opportunity for growing professionals are topics that still aren’t discussed enough. Many times, the picture is painted that people aren’t patient, they don’t want to put in the time and effort to get where they want to be, or they don’t perform to the organization’s standards, and it is seen as the individual is always the problem. Company owners, executives, and managers don’t always take the time understand their short comings or where they can improve as the new employee is expected to mesh with the current culture, the status quo, or in others words they don’t “fit” the company mold.

Professional Growth Challenges

What we’re going to discuss here is the importance of not giving into an unhealthy culture, or being someone you’re not just to fit in. The ability to recognize this difference is an important step for any individual in their current position, and this brings about an individual’s morals, beliefs, ethics, desires, aspirations, and more! How this relates to many people is that over the course of their career, you may start jobs with different organizations, and you realize at some point throughout your tenure that you don’t fit what they are expecting. This may be on how decisions are made, what decisions are made, what is expected of people, and how much you’re willing to give in on your side to be a productive member of their team, or their “status quo” culture. I’m certainly not saying that if you don’t fit all their expectations or if you don’t feel like it’s the exact position you want, don’t quit, or leave any job. What we are talking about is the importance of growing yourself and making sure you can adhere to your personal values and professional aspirations.

Remarkable Organizational Qualities

There are many organizations out there that with developing cultures that are continuously seeking ways to build a better organization, and they want individuals on their side that see similar dreams and can help them reach those goals. Sometimes it can be difficult findings organizations such as this, but when you interview or first start at an organization that has this type of culture, you’re going to notice characteristics such as:

• Positive employee morale
• Functional and high-performing teams
• Collaboration amongst personnel
• Managers, leaders, or executives that are participative and authentic
• Strong company and client relationships

This isn’t a fully inclusive list, but it’s definitely a great place to start on observing organizations you want to be a part of! When you want to grow professionally, have opportunity, and let your ideas be heard, these are the places you don’t want to give up on too soon. One of greatest considerations throughout this process of identifying your fit is using the term alignment. You will use this term time, and time again to evaluate how you, your beliefs, morals, and ethics align with the mission, vision, and values of an organization. In defining it this way, you’re giving yourself the opportunity to reflect on everything going on, and a way to consider pros and cons, qualitative considerations (qualities of the organization and the qualities you need), and certain quantitative information such as pay scale, growth, personal goals, and so forth. It is necessary for you to be able to gauge your professional growth in alignment with your goals or expectations you have set for yourself, and when you find an organization that helps you do this, it is important to consider growing your tenure there, instead of closing that chapter of your book and always searching for something better.
On the flip side, it’s important to know when you don’t align with an organization, and it is in your best interest to consider your options. Consider your alignment with the organization again, but this time you notice that you’re out of alignment with certain aspects of the company. Some may be able to be improved, and some won’t change due to the status quo. This is where it is vital to reflect on your professional goals and aspirations and determine if the lack of alignment justifies a change.

Concluding Thoughts

One of life’s greatest journeys is to see yourself grow professionally and achieve things that you didn’t know were possible. It’s important to understand what you bring to the company as far as skills, abilities, and ideas are concerned, and know that they are worth a great deal of value to organizations that foster and harness that type of high-performing and market leading culture. Don’t give up in the pursuit of finding alignment between yourself and an organization, as through persistence and resilience many will find that opportunity.

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