Imagine for a moment that you just found out that you’ve just been fired from the job you currently hold. Even if you’re the owner of the company, imagine that you’ve been let go. You’ve got to prepare for an exit interview, clean out your desk, wrap up any remaining projects and prepare the way for someone else to take your job.
You’re likely rushing through your mind to think about what you’ll do next. Suddenly, imagine that your boss or your board of directors decides to give you the chance to reapply for your job that you were just fired from.
What is your initial reaction to that opportunity to reapply for your job?
It's a great exercise in self-evaluation. You can put yourself in a position to take a fresh look at a job you currently have. For some, their current workplace is a place that is fraught with stress and negativity. Others feel as if they have “golden handcuffs” holding them to their position, feeling trapped by their salary. Even if you absolutely love your current job, asking yourself some questions could help you recognize what you were truly meant to do, understand what strengths you should build upon that make you great at what you do, and give you a new outlook on how you can make positive changes.
Here are three great questions to ask as you get started.
1. Would you reapply for your job?
Whether you’ve been in your position for a month or 10 years, you had different perceptions and expectations of your current job that have been changed over time. From management style to office culture, you know your own position better than anyone. Knowing what you know now, ask yourself, would I reapply for the same job again? Are you truly doing what you were meant to do? If the answer is yes, then take inventory of the things you love about what you do. If the answer was no, then this is a great time to reevaluate what you’re doing, or at least how you’re doing it, and consider what changes need to be made. That change might even be making a career shift.
2. What should the qualifications should be for you position?
For many CEOs, entrepreneurs, and managers, there is a nagging feeling that someone could be doing what you’re doing better than you. Perhaps it’s the exact opposite and you know you’re the best fit for what you do, but you’re held back by other tasks that keep you from performing at your best. If you could rewrite your own job description, would you change any of the roles and responsibilities? What about the qualifications? Knowing your own position and why you’re the best fit means that you can evaluate what it takes to get the job done better than anyone else. Look at your workload versus your own qualifications, and in areas that you might be lacking, invest in continuing education to catch up or consider making a new hire to make sure you’re doing what you do best.
3. What processes or strategic changes would you make?
This is where it gets really fun. You know exactly what you love and don’t love about your job. Not every part of your job has to be the best thing in your life, but you should enjoy what you do and how you do it. You know what works and what doesn’t. If you could sit your “future” employer down and change your own work process, what’s the first thing you’d suggest? Remember, you’re leaving, so this is your chance to be 100% honest! What other changes could make the business more efficient and give your team’s morale a boost? Looking at your job through this lens can help both your job performance and your supervisor know you care about the company’s best interest. It can also help you cut through the clutter of hurt feelings or the notion that “that’s just the way we’ve always done it.”
No matter your position at your company, thinking about your job before it ends can be an eye-opening way to shift your perspective and take a birds-eye view of your position and business. Start with these three questions and get back to loving what you do, or making changes that will be great for both you and your business. We think everyone at your company will be better served by imagining themselves fired and re-hired!