Mar 242013 0 Responses

Why a New Job (or Spouse) Rarely Results in a Changed Life

A new job rarely changes your life.

It might for a moment. There is a euphoria that comes with new things. Everything has to be figured out. You have to learn about others; they have to learn about you. New is fun.

But it doesn’t last.

It’s not very long before the euphoria is gone and the new job becomes like the old job.

People change jobs for a variety of reasons—promotions, more opportunity, greater responsibility, increased salary, major life change, etc. Yet the most common reason a person changes job is for a reason they don’t consciously consider. It’s an opportunity to start over. Their email box is full. Their schedules are maxed. They’ve taken on 100 responsbilities which they don’t like. If they could just clear the deck everything would be better.

So they update their LinkedIn profile, review Monster, and find something new. Euphoria hits, a honeymoon is experienced, but 18 months later they feel just as overhwlemed as they were before.


In golf, an extra shot is called a mulligan. If you don’t like your first shot, drop another ball and try again. Generally speaking, the mulligan is always better than the first shot. Yet if a golfer always played their second shot, their score wouldn’t be that much better. It wouldn’t be better because the same swing with which they hit their first ball is the same swing with which they have to hit the second ball. Most golfers don’t need a new chance, they need a new swing. No matter how many chances they get, they will struggle because their swing is bad.

The same is true for most of us at work. We don’t need a new job (or spouse), we need a new approach to work (and marriage).

If our approach to work is bad, the job will eventually be bad.

A majority of people aren’t unhappy in life because of their job; they are unahppy at their job because of their life.

Changing jobs might make a person feel better for the moment, but it won’t help over the long haul. And it could hurt if it causes us to constantly chase the euphoria of a new job instead of learning new habits to have a better life.

What is true at work is often true at home.

Many people believe their marriage is beyond repair and it would just be easier to start over. Forgiving what has been said or done, learning new patterns of communication, and developing healthy habits for the relationship just seems like too much work. Starting with a clean slate seems easier. Yet just like a new job, the honeymoon will wear off, and while our spouse is different, we are the same person, making the same mistakes, and more often than not, the second marriage is just as bad as the first.

If you are thinking about changing jobs (or spouses) consider the following:

Are you content in your current situation? If not, why will the new job be different? What are some ways you can find contentment without changing jobs? The best time to change jobs is when you are happy in your current situation. Contenment allows for good decision making. Discontment can cloud our judgment.

Have you properly evaluated all the consequneces of your decision? For this, we often need help. Seek advice from somone who is objective with the situation. They can assist you in considering all the ramifications of a change.

Have you made a serious effort to change? Instead of focusing on new opporutnities, what if you spent an extended period of time trying to change yourself? Read The Power of Habit, find a life coach, call a counselor, attend a local Celebrate Recovery and take a year to work on changing the one thing that is constant in every job and relationship—you.

There are plenty of reasons to change jobs (and a few to change spouses), but many job changes take place in hope of starting over and doing it better the second time. Rarely does that work because the same ones who didn’t do it right the first time will not be able to do it right the second time. Instead of changing jobs, change yourself.

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