I am what others may call “a rolling stone that gathers no moss”. I have worked in eight different companies in the five years of my employment history. I am now 28 years old, female, a BSBA Major in Management degree holder, and still single. I am not anti-social; in fact, I have friends and I enjoy being with them.
I do not want to tell job interviewers about my frequent job shifts; neither do I include all the companies I had worked for in my resume when I apply for a job. My probationary employment ends either because I don’t like the job (such as a job in sales which I didn’t like at all) or I am politely told by the HR person that I don’t fit the job requirements. I am too hurt to ask questions about my being unfit.
What is wrong with me? Please help me.
Ms. Always On Probation
The fact that you are seeking help shows that you see something is not right about you. You are right about frequent job changes reflecting negatively on you. You are right also about seeking help for you may not see things about yourself that need changing.
You write that your employment ends when you don’t see yourself fitting the job or you are evaluated as not being fit for the job. What is the reason for the lack of fit? Is it a question of competence, i.e., knowledge and skills required by the job which you don’t have or you lack the interest to acquire these skills? Is it due to lack of interest, i.e., the job tasks do not jibe with your interest and personality? Is it your negative attitudes towards your job or towards the people you work with? Is it due to work behaviors you have, such as tardiness, absences, failure to meet standards for tasks completion; etc. It is important for you to find out the reasons for the termination of probationary employment so that you can do something about them. Getting verbal negative feedback can hurt you temporarily but later you will be thankful that you have a basis for developing a plan to correct your weaknesses. Non-verbal behaviors of withdrawal, avoidance and aggression are also feedback but you can perceive them differently.
If you are presently employed, I suggest you set as your personal/work goal that you will be able to remain in that job for at least two years, whether you like the job or not. Having a goal will keep you focused and will motivate you to do your best. If you like you current job, well and good. If not, learn to like it. How? See the benefits you get from your job such as: being able to acquire knowledge and skills; it enables you to have good use of your time; you are able to earn money; you have the prestige of working in a good company; you are like your friends who are also working; you are able to meet new people; you are able to make new friends, etc. Making a list of the benefits you derive from your job will boost your self-esteem and motivate you to work hard to keep it.
Then you may want to follow the following suggestions:
- Work hard to perform all the job tasks required by your position. Ask your boss to prioritize these tasks so you know where to focus your time, attention and energy on.
- Frequently seek feedback from your boss on how he/she evaluates your work on a per piece and/or per day basis. Tell him/her that you want to meet his/her standards. After all, he/she is your #1 customer.
- Ask for coaching from your boss on your areas of difficulty. And ask for inputs on how you could improve the performance of your tasks.
- Be punctual in reporting for work in the morning and in the afternoon. You also have to be punctual in submitting requirements such as data, reports, etc.
- Be a team player. Use your knowledge and share your time to help your fellow team members. Ask their help too, when you have concerns. Instead of enjoying the company of your friends, develop positive working relationships with your fellow team members. Take your meals with them. Go out with them to have fun but keep expenses within your budget.
- Avoid time wasters. Using your cellphone such as texting your friends during office hours is a big NO-NO. Don’t use the landlines, either, for personal calls. Keep your cellphone away from your table to resist the urge to use it. Or put it on silent mode but away from you. Avoid also extending breaks and lunch time.
- Develop and practice the following global values: having sense of urgency, being multi-tasked, being customer-driven, doing things right the first time, reducing the costs in doing your tasks, etc.
- Read and study the mission, vision and values of your company. Know the history of your company. Know the people who comprise the top and senior management. You are sure to meet them. Greet them with a smile when you meet them.
- Study and patronize your company’s products, if they are consumer products, food or health products sold over the counter.
There are other things you need to do and things you need to avoid. I suggest further that you get a productive, efficient, well-liked and pleasant co-employee as your role-model and emulate the positive attitudes and work behaviors of this person.
God bless you.