A question for ya: Losing a job you love

QuestionOn my post about Liking vs. loving your job, Love Lost asks:

I had a job that I loved, I worked hard, loved what I did, did well with the people I worked with. But then the 18 month contract ran out and I can’t go back for six months and they can’t make me a permanent employee.

So what do you do when you lose a job you love and take a job you may hate?

That’s a really good question. What would you do? Write a comment, I’d really like to know!

12 thoughts on “A question for ya: Losing a job you love”

  1. It’d be my guess that you were working with HP, Australia. Because a similar thing happened to me. I worked with HP for 4 years to the date and then they didn’t renew my contract nor did they make me a permie…

    I believe what you need is Contacts. The best thing in my opinion you can do is meet people that know people that will help you get that job you like.

    It’s through my contacts that I got my current job which I like and am hoping that it will place me in a better position than my previous one’s.

    Change is inevitable, the earlier and more easily you realize this, the easier and quicker you will move on =).

    I hope the short comment helped…

  2. There have been two times I’ve lost jobs that I loved. I had a job with plenty of new and interesting stuff to do, the best co-workers and an absolutely stellar boss. Got laid off only three months after buying my first house.

    What did I do? I started looking for a new job immediately, kept in touch with some of the great people I worked with and took away some great experiences which have helped improve every place I’ve work since.

    In the second instance I was doing fantastic work for a great group of researchers. I felt I was making a difference and others told me they felt the same. Unfortunately my boss made it almost impossible for me to do the work. His actions toward me skirted barely on the legal side of harassment. HR would do nothing even though I had several department heads on my side.

    What did I do? I left. I personally could not put myself through working there any longer and and my attempts to change my situation had failed. Upon my departure I left a clear account of why I was leaving with several key players. Two months later I got a call saying they had succeeded in moving my old position under a different manager and they wanted to know if I’d take my old position back.

    I’d already started elsewhere, but I knew it was better for the next guy. Six months after I left I heard through the grapevine that my old (problematic) boss had left abruptly, likely with encouragement from the management.

    The point of all this? Both times my departure had a positive impact. There are a ton of great places to work and countless great people to work with. Try to have a positive impact on the place you work and take the best parts of each job with you when you go. That way you don’t have to regret leaving.

  3. First, if you have any thoughts about how the rules that you can’t work there for 6 months suck or are unfair, remember that you signed on to those rules. It’s good to approach a problem when you know that where you are was your choice.

    Second, learn from the previous job about what you liked….and realize that the next job may not be as good. BUT, because I assume that you need a job, learn to love the next one as much as you can because the next “bad” job is the one that will propel you to the next “good” one…..however far off it might be.

    Third, look forward and don’t lament about the good ol days when the next job is less than perfect. The grass is always greener….blah…blah

    Fourth, do everything possible to always give yourself options. Cash is king and nothing you own will substitute for the daily happiness that fulfilling experience can bring. Build cash….and build contacts.

    Fifth, if that previous job was THEE job, 6 months will go by in no time. Decide….visualize….yourself being back in a position with that employer. Work those contacts that you kept…..let people know that you have an interest in returning (but don’t let them know you are desperate to return).

  4. My point is to accept it whole heartedly. You are already in the good books of this company – I mean if you really love what you do, you would have done your job in an excellent manner. So even without asking, the people there will come forward to give you a lead. Use this experience in your next job to excel. In future, if there is any opening sure, they will consider your CV for that. Nothing is permannent in this world. This is my humble opinion. Viji

  5. Hey Alex

    Great question, I decided that it was a chance to follow my dream – I know sounds a bit mushy – but I had been trapped with a great salary. So I started The Engaging Brand….and got to interview great motivators like you!

  6. Dear Love Lost, (sounds a bit like “Dear Abby” huh)

    First of all, don’t worry.
    Not sure what country you are in, but most of the time there are really a lot of jobs in your area.
    That you, love your job, worked hard, loved what you did, did well with the people you worked with, will work for you in your new job.

    In my career I have met a lot of people that wanted to stay at the company they were working. They say; “I love my job, I love my colleagues, and I do not know what to aspect in a new job.” Is say, you are correct, you do not know what to aspect, but it probably is better.

    In the past I have had some jobs. In the beginning I worked for 18-24 months for a company and started looking for a new job. Not just to move up. Getting to know new colleagues, a new culture, new management styles is so interesting. It will make your career very rich. It will make it easier for you to adept to change.

    A new job is a challenge but it is a whole lot of fun. The chances that you end up in a shitty job, at a bad company, with horrible colleagues are pretty slim. And that is because a lot of the good time that you are having now is due to YOU. Your attitude (love job, work hard, fun with colleagues) will help you to have fun in all your future jobs.

    Good luck with your new job and have fun.
    Merry Christmas and a good 2007.


  7. Thanks for all the comments people. This is great stuff!

    Medhul: Contacts are a great help. And most people have more contacts than they realize!

    Jon: Thanks for those stories. I applaud your determination to make the best out of work both when being terminated and in leaving a bad job situation on your own accord.

    Scott: Those are great tips. I especially liked the one about “learn from the previous job about what you liked”. Too many people do the opposite and only make long lists of what to avoid in their next job.

    Viji: Accept it wholeheartedly – I like that. Any situation we find ourselves in becomes easier when we accept it or even appreciate it.

    Anna: Trapped with a great salary – that’s an expression to remember!

    Erno: I like your approach to moving and making it fun!

  8. In North America, the 18 month maximum prevents companies from being sued for “employee benefits” by long-term contractors. The 6 month period seems to be the minimum period to ensure there is no confusion about the fact that a contractor is not an employee.

    “lawsuits” are the American way.

    “Better competition through litigation”


  9. I am Love Lost.

    Thanks for all the positive advice and comments. I have thrown myself at my new job with abandon and the results ahve been very positive. I am starting to carve out my own niche and make a name for myself.

    I have met socially with a few of my old coworkers who have been quite supportive. They also mention that the old place isn’t the same and things have gone completely nuts without me there. That’s nice to hear although I suspect they are just saying it.

    Someone once said that people fear change because of the amount of our selves that we have invested in that situation is significant to their perception of their self. We fear loosing that part of ourselves forever. It takes time to bounce back and regain confidence. It takes time for us to realize that we still have our selves right there with us.

    That sounds rather silly, but that’s my situation exactly.

  10. Love Lost: I’m glad you liked the input and happy to hear that you’re making a name for yourself in your new job.

    And I agree, we tend to tie up much of our identity in work, which can make changes painful and unsettling.

    Rationally we may be able to tell ourselves that the new situation is fine, but this operates mostly on an emotional, non-rational level.

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