What About the 75% Who are Unhappy?

Sep 7, 2022

Hey everyone,

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that 75% of recent job switches – most of whom got more money – are nonetheless *unhappy* in their higher-paying new jobs. At the same time, Gallup reports that at least 75% of *all* global employees are unhappy.

What’s going on here?

Based on working with thousands of job seekers for my new book, Never Search Alone: The Job Seeker’s Playbook, I can guess what happened to the recent job switchers. They jumped from a bad job into an even worse one.

I see this happen all the time.

And, because I’ve tested and iterated a solution, I now know what to do about it.

Never Search Alone offers a completely new way to look for a GOOD job, or sometimes better, a promotion at your current job.

In fact, that’s why my main recommendation in Never Search Alone is to form a Job Search Council, or Career Council like we run at CG (cool thing: we are offering a *free* matching service for job seekers…to match them with other job seekers so they can form Job Search Councils).

Let me share a quick story about a CG member, Jack, who was laid off, found a new job, and was dealing with some unhappiness (and sadness). 

Jack took a new job last year – walked through the steps of Never Search Alone – and found a great EVP of product role at a large technology company on the west coast.

Then what?

Life happened.

His boss died a month into the job – the very boss who was a big part of his taking this new role.

That was hard, obviously.

Then a re-org happened.

Eventually, he wound up in a decent spot, but still insecure and sad. I told him it’s important to allow himself to be sad. And that we can all have multiple emotions at the same time: sad, happy, depressed, content, excited – which was about the mix of feelings Jack was having.

I gave Jack the space to feel all of that and be OK with it.

We then talked about a conversation he just had with his new boss.

Jack proposed a new name for his division and the new boss thought it was fine, but suggested a variation.

Jack felt bad that his boss didn’t just validate him and the new name he had come up with.

Fortunately, he shared this with me.

So, I asked him what you might have asked: is naming one of your core strengths? Is that why they hired you at this large software company?

No. Of course not.

I reminded him why they hired him: 

  1. He’s great at product vision;
  2. He’s great at coaching and building product teams;
  3. He’s been in the software industry a long-time and has great pattern-matching/judgment.

To reinforce this message, I gave Jack a caring/not caring assignment.

I asked him to create a list of all the things he’s bad at so we can review them together and agree that none of them matter and thus he can decide to *not* care about being bad at them (unless 1 or 2 do matter and then we’ll talk about that).

Many of us have this problem. We want to, or think we need to, be good at everything. We don’t. Especially as we get more senior.

Just talking about this assignment made Jack happier.

And that made *me* happy.

Remember, never search or lead alone.



P.S. I have a request for help: can you pre-order my new book? It comes out next Tuesday!

P.P.S. One more request: would you be willing to post on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter about it? If yes, reply and I’ll share some examples of posts others have done that might help inspire you.

Thank YOU.

— Three other things about the book:

– Marty Cagan wrote a lovely Foreword 
– See my Preface where I explain how I iterated with thousands of job seekers over many years 
– Read the feedback from the many job seekers who used early drafts to find good jobs or promotions

About the Author

Phyl Terry

Phyl Terry, Founder and CEO of Collaborative Gain, Inc., launched the company’s flagship leadership program – The Councils – in 2002 with a fellow group of Internet pioneers from Amazon, Google, and others. Thousands of leaders from the Internet world have come together in the last 15 years to learn the art of asking for help and to support each other to build better, more customer-centric products, services, and companies.

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