Career Sirens: Stay the Course of Your Career Goals

If lockdown was our Trojan War, then the Great Resignation is our Odyssey. Many of us are trying to find our way “home” in our careers – and changing jobs to get there.

But beware the Sirens along the way!

Just like Odysseus, people in career transitions may find themselves tempted by alluring offers that pull them off course from their deepest goals and values.

These Sirens might take the form of:

  • Job title (Okay, I don’t love the company…but it’s a VP position!)
  • Salary (Sure, I said I wanted more balance in my life…but this role will get me to my next financial milestone!)
  • Company (I have reservations about the boss, but this will get me into Prestigious Company Inc.!)

Typically, a Career Siren involves some form of prestige, but it doesn’t have to be flashy or self-serving to be detrimental. A wrong-fitting position might offer a new level of access and impact, which would enable you to do a lot of good for others. That doesn’t make the job right for you though!

To avoid finding yourself marooned in the wrong place, try to identify your potential Career Sirens before you start your search. Here are some tips for finding and flagging them:

  • Look at your career history. Did you ever take a job or role that you knew might not be right for you? Why did you do it?
  • What career achievements would you be proudest to share with your closest family and friends?
  • What type of career news from your network stirs up pangs of jealousy? (Maybe you just scrolled past an example in this very feed!)

We’re all susceptible to being drawn off course by offers so enticing they seem to be worth the drawbacks. Even Odysseus had to tie himself to the mast to prevent himself from jumping ship when the Sirens started calling!

But he only knew to do that because he had advanced warning and took preventative measures to keep himself on course. You can do this too.

Identify your Sirens. Remind yourself of your priorities. Understand that you’re only human, and you might need a little help staying the course.

Then lash yourself to the proverbial mast, and sail on past that opportunity – it’s not for you, and it might set you back in your journey home.