Responsible Career Choices: A Cure For Career ADD?

Working with professionals dedicated to building responsible careers in corporate social responsibility, social enterprises, and nonprofit management, it dawned on me that these professionals might have found the cure to career ADD.  What is career ADD you might ask?  It is a growing condition among professionals that work in traditional businesses. Some of its symptoms can be uncovered through the following questions:  After about three months on a new job, do you feel often anxious and unhappy?  Do you get bored easily, starting each project on a high but struggling to get excited to complete your projects over time?  Do you find yourself wanting to switch jobs or employers after about a year on any job?  Of course, each job has its challenges and everyone has more trouble following through than starting new projects.  But if this satisfaction level drives you to switch jobs every 8 to 10 months, you might be suffering from career ADD.

Career ADD is a considerable issue for both companies and professionals.  Turn over rates lead to higher recruiting costs and training costs for companies.  Studies from the Society for Human Resource Management show that when recruiting, hiring, training, and reduced productivity costs are accounted for replacing a $8.00/hour employee, the overall turn over cost can add up to about $3,500.  Of course, for professionals, switching jobs in any economy is tough, but in the current employment climate, it is even harder.  In the current economy, instead of a more interesting job, a professional with career ADD is likely to settle for a lateral career move that is likely to trigger another career ADD move even sooner than the previous one.

How can responsible career choices become a cure for career ADD?  At the core of making responsible career choices is getting business done better for companies that provide products and services you can believe in.  We all want to make a positive difference in our world.  We also want to feel respected and recognized by a community of like minded professionals that share our goals and aspirations.  Of course, this shared purpose could be all about the challenge of artificially making more money faster (thank you Wall Street Financiers for that!).  But for most people it is about more than money.  It is about doing business in a way that build a better world than the one we currently live in.  Feeling a sense of purpose at work and feeling that you are working within a community of like minded professionals does wonder when it comes to employee retention and job satisfaction.   Knowing that your functional expertise contributes to increasing market shares for products and services you believe in is also a powerful way to stay motivated and excited about each of the projects you need to complete and the results you have to deliver.

Overall, if you feel that you are in career ADD mode, ask yourself:  What are the types of tasks that make me lose sense of time?  What are the types of products and services I believe in and want to promote?  How can you identify and successfully compete for opportunities that successfully align with your preferences and expertise?  The more specific you are about these questions, the more your responsible career choices will contribute to alleviate (or even cure) your career ADD symptoms.

Photo Credit.