My roving eye is giving me career itch

Q: I’m in a job I don’t like – and that’s to put it mildly. My role is as an office receptionist, but it’s too narrow in focus for me. I’d much prefer to be working in a hotel doing sales and reservations, instead of just pushing calls through to my bosses, which I’m currently doing. Another job has come up in a hotel in sales, but, as I’m only three months in this job, I think it might look bad on my CV if I up sticks now and go. What do you think? Should I stay or should I go? (CS, email ).

A: You are trying to balance two issues here. One is your desire for a logical and coherent CV that shows carefully thought-out career progression. The other is your desire to do a job you actually like.

In my book, the second one wins out virtually every time, though I hasten to add that in the absence of knowing any more about you than what your email reveals, I can’t make a definitive call on your scenario.

Your CV will never get to the point of being logical and coherent if you don’t get on the right track in the first place. It is not uncommon for people to shuffle around at various stages in their careers as they try to get into something they enjoy.

It can all appear rather confusing as it’s unfolding, but, looking back with the benefit of hindsight, things make more sense. There are times when you should follow your instinct, even if this leads to a kind of two-steps-forward, three-steps-back feeling.

In your case, it is clear you want to get into sales. Why delay the decision for even one more day?

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. If you weren’t that prescient (or perhaps you were only in playschool then! ), today is the next best option.

Down the line, when you have developed your sales career, the three-month hiatus on the front desk will be a mere blip. When it comes to explaining your career moves, you will be able to say “I moved soon after that to a hotel sales role because that was where my real passion lay, and a good opportunity came up for me.”

We live in an era of employee mobility. Chances are the people assessing your CV, or interviewing you, will have gone through some career swings and roundabouts themselves.

It is more important to get to your preferred and best area of work than to merely preserve a veneer of logic in your CV.

I know you may think a three-month term suggests an absence of loyalty. Au contraire: you owe it to your employers to move on if you are not happy in the position. You are likely to grow to resent the role more and more as time goes on, and that will not serve the employer.

Nor will it serve you. You will only get bitter and unhappy, and, over time, you might lose the self-belief and determination to get into your preferred area.

Best of luck with the decision. There will almost certainly come a time when you will look back on this period and wonder why you even agonised about taking the jump.

Sli Nua Careers offer CV preparation, interview training and mock interview services at their offices in Galway, Limerick, Dublin, and Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo. More on www.slinuacareers.com

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