Do you like a challenge? Where other people see a mess of pieces, do you see a puzzle that needs to be sorted out and put back together?
If so, you are probably the type of person who likes working for companies that are broken. Processes that don’t work, goals that aren’t being met,or a toxic work environment — name the problem and you want to fix it. It’s the challenge and excitement that comes from taking something broken and turning it around. More than any paycheck, that is what really motivates you to work hard.
Companies always say they want this type of employee — one who can come in and make a difference. And why not? No matter how well run a company is, there is always something broken or something that can be done better. There are a lot of nails sticking up out there and look, you have a hammer.
Sounds promising, right? All you have to do is find those “nails” and start pounding away. Career and company success is assured! You should already know nothing is that simple. Why? I’ve seen the greatest minds of my generation destroyed by the madness of their own company’s apathy. It’s tragic really. And a little emo. But that is beside the point.
Does this describe your company?
- There is no planning, there is only crisis.
- Blame is easier to find than accountability.
- Feedback, even when solicited, often falls of deaf ears.
- Employees have to go through several layers of approval for even the simplest decisions.
- The only ones with the authority to make changes don’t think anything needs to be changed.
- The only “process” employees follow is the work-around they have created in order to actually get things done.
Companies like this aren’t really interested in employees finding or fixing anything at all; all they want is for employees to maintain the status quo, even if that status quo is broken. Companies saying they want one thing in an employee when they really want another? Sounds like a frustrating mess to me. But hey, it’s surprising how many companies can be successful in spite of themselves.
Well, only for a little while.
Successful companies need problem solvers. Problem solvers need challenges they have a chance of successfully overcoming, not ones that are doomed from the start. When they realize how the company really operates they will move on and maybe some day they’ll be back … as consultants.
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