The Importance of Being Engaged

Just over a month ago I started a new job. It’s exciting, fresh and new. And long overdue…

I’d been with my previous employer for eight years, almost to the day, when I walked out their door for the last time. Over those eight years, I had the opportunity to grow, learn and meet the most amazing people – some who are now my closest friends. While there was an obvious level of investment on my part, it became apparent that it was time for a change when I hadn’t learned anything new in a long time and internal prospects were nil.

As a communicator, it’s especially important to stay engaged to produce quality work and offer fresh ideas. After all, you are the company’s voice. If you’re not interested in what you have to say, then why should anyone else?  I admit it. My enthusiasm had waned.  When you’ve been doing the same thing for a long time it’s easy to switch to autopilot.  Disengagement is common but it’s not healthy for the employee or an organization. Thankfully the solution is simple – change. Change your job. Change your corporate structure. Change your attitude. Shift your paradigm. Change is ALWAYS good – even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time. Getting outside of your comfort zone is the best way to shake things up and wake up.

So how long is too long to stay in one role? I was discussing this very topic with a mentor of mine who is an experienced communicator. She said that five to six years is a healthy length of time for a communicator to stay in a role before it’s time to move on. That got me thinking about my eight years. I’ve always prided myself in having a large comfort zone, but the longer you do the same thing, the smaller that zone becomes until it’s not comforting at all.  But hindsight is 20/20. You can’t change what has happened. You can only take action focus on the road ahead… and my road is full of possibilities.

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