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Career Talk: Can you read the signs?

What happens when driving your vehicle and you can t read the road signs until you're just about at them or as you drive past them? Most of us realize it's time to see an eye doctor and get our vision improved. What happens when you don t read or see the signs in your career that tell you it's time to change your job? Whether you re an EMS provider or EMS supervisor, perhaps its time to review some of the warning signs to watch out for during your career.

  1. A change in management occurs. Is there a new manager, city manager, board member or fire chief who comes with their own agenda without first getting to know the organization? Supervisors often in their first job as the boss or a city manager often think they're the experts on ambulance operations. Especially if they come from outside of an organization, they often try to implement their ideas or model their new organization after the one they came from. Although they want to lead, they haven t taken the time to get to know the organization or the people who work there.
  2. You and your boss don t communicate well.In some cases, maybe, you don t even get along at all. It's often hard to continue to work in these situations. While it's hard to change jobs, working for a boss where you have the added stress of poor communication affects your performance on the job and often your home life.
  3. The organization begins a decline by not replacing key personnel or staff. When your boss begins to support the idea that personnel don t need to be replaced and the organization begins to stagnate you may want to consider your position and determine whether you have a long-term future with the organization.
  4. Your boss lies to you about the state of the organization and when confronted continues to lie to you.You need to ask yourself if, in the long run, you want to work for an organization with that kind of reputation.
  5. The budget decreases and is expected to decrease for the next several years.This is often the beginning of a long-term problem brought about by poor planning or a decline in support for the organization. This can have an impact on your personal finances and benefits.
  6. Your organization sees a steady stream of staff leaving.If your coworkers are unhappy or they have found better opportunities in other positions, it indicates of the state of the organization where you work is in poor condition.
  7. Your boss doesn t listen to any of your ideas or suggestions. Depending on how long you've been with the organization and in your position, this may be a warning sign that you are not a valued employee. If you are presenting ideas in a positive manner and not just complaining, then perhaps you may need to look for a boss who is open to new ideas.
  8. Communication in your organization is dysfunctional.Many agencies struggle to keep everyone informed and up-to-date. When there is a lack of communication or the communication that occurs is misleading to the point where customer service is affected, then this is a symptom of much larger problems.
  9. You're in line for a promotion and someone with less experience and qualifications but better political connections gets the job. This is a clear indicator that your chance for success in this organization has taken a detour.

You should gauge your status within your organization and see how you fit. It s hard to contemplate leaving if you have more than 10 years in your present job and depending on how long you have to retire whether you will even consider leaving. In most cases, it is better to be prepared to make a change and even make the change on your own before something happens to cause you to suddenly have to look for another job.

In two weeks, we'll look at steps you need to take to begin looking for another position.

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