A cliché, no doubt. The Grass is Always Greener on the other side. The thing with every cliché is they start with a grain of truth.
Drunk Co-workers Share the Dirt
I recently spent a week at a summit for my new organization. The subject of the summit itself is not important. The interesting part of such gatherings though is always the dinners and happy hours afterward. Get enough beers into people and you’ll hear all the dirty laundry of various groups. This time was no different.
Frustrations, We Got Frustrations
Over the course of two nights I heard all the frustrations, whether they were related to the bosses, operating model, IT, or whatever. Again, the details are not important. In any case the group had many complaints and concerns. As a new joiner it was enough to make me a bit nervous about my choice to jump to this group.
Problems Old and New
But then something interesting happened. On the third day of the summit I was copied in some communications related to other “problems” from my old organization. None of the problems on that communication were a surprise by any means. Just like the folks from my new group they had legitimate concerns. Just like my new group there were significant numbers.
All Organizations have Dysfunction, Adapt to Them
It was a good wake up call. My concerns about the new group issues quickly evaporated. The simple reality, all large organizations have issues. Dysfunction and Corporation are synonyms to some extent. The key is learning to adapt to the specific issues in a way such that you are still successful. Well that and the issues don’t drive you crazy.
Adaptation as a Skill
I am decent at that adaption. People unanimously describe me as calm under pressure. Honestly, I don’t see this in myself, but I do see that I always find a way to still make things happen. So that is probably a manifestation of that calm projection. That adaption is a skill set in itself. So the reality is after I adapt I’ll be fine.
The Grass is Always Greener, but Most of it is Noise
As for my personal well being, very few things really get under my skin. The things that do are not complaints I heard in either organization. These were my minimum requirements for any organization I worked with. Having met those requirements the rest is frankly noise.
The Grass is Always Greener, No Matter Where You Are
The point is, no matter what organization you join or remain at there will be issues. There will be complaints. There will be pet peeves.
Deal Breakers and Adaptation
Ultimately the key is to define your deal breakers. Don’t accept a job that breaks those deals. Meanwhile develop your skills to adapt to adverse situations. Then make the right decisions based on your interests and your career aspirations. Most of the rest of those complaints are ultimately just noise. The grass is always greener on the other side, but most of the time it’s still a slightly offset shade of green once you get there.
How do you keep dysfunction from ruffling you?