shift shock

Shift shock, also known as “quitter’s remorse” or “new job regret” is a term coined by Kathryn Minshew, co-founder and CEO of online career platform The Muse. In short, shift shock is the (unfortunately all too common) feeling washing over those who have switched jobs only to find their new position is not living up to their expectations.

According to a study by The Muse of more than 2,500 Millennial and Gen Z job seekers. Nearly three in four respondents (72%) have experienced surprise or regret surrounding a new role or company.

Are careers something we’d like to spin the roulette wheel on? Hoping a new job makes adequate use of your existing skills, offers the development opportunities you have been looking for and provides the longer-term career path you had in mind. Hope seems a bad strategy for significant life events.

If expectations are indeed the root of all heartache, surely there must be something we can do?

At Kazi we’ve been referring to shift shock as a “mismatch in expectations” since 2016. Semantics aside; to have a crystal clear understanding of the expectations of the job on the one hand, and the expectations of the candidate or employee on the other hand, are the indispensable building blocks for sustainable employment.

choices made for us

A muffled “krak”-like sound. That’s what I heard when I landed out of a jump in rehearsal. With that sound, something in my knee snapped. Finishing my dancing career in the theater in the blink of an eye.

One lousy landing wiped away everything I had vigorously worked for in an instant. All the holidays sacrificed. All the things regular kids were able to do. Had it all been for nothing? Training to be a dancer is similar to training to be an elite athlete, with an added layer of artistry.

From the outside in, it may seem like entrepreneurs always are their own bosses and that they’re able to make every little choice in their career for themselves. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

This one goes out to all the entrepreneurs who had choices made for them. Entrepreneurs forced to quit due to road works in the street of their shop. Restaurant keepers taking heavy blows due to lockdown regulations. Co-owners who have no choice but to forfeit because their partners decide to quit.

If you ever have a choice made for you, know that the sparkle, your unique ability to do what you have been doing in your entrepreneurial career is still there. You must find a way to re-apply it, perhaps in a different domain.

Choices made for us impact us differently as opposed to choices we deliberately make for ourselves.

something to be desired

The hunt is sweeter than the kill. Because our imagination thrives on absence, we often don’t feel as fulfilled as we had anticipated when we finally get that object we so desired.

The risk increases depending on the emotional engagement, better yet, the lack thereof, with the actual object. It’s hard to form long-term emotional connections with things we possess. Post-purchase disappointment often kicks in hard when fantasy becomes a reality.

That’s why deferred gratification is often so rewarding. Resisting a temptation today in favor of a later (perhaps more significant) reward tomorrow.

Even though these principles are well known, they are poorly applied today. When you buy a new car, a rather significant purchase for most of us, nothing happens after signing on the dotted line. That’s basically adding fuel directly to the raging buyer’s remorse fire. After some months, you get a message from the dealership. You go to pick up your car, drive it off the lot, and that’s it. Good riddance.

Whether it’s a once-in-a-lifetime purchase or an ordinary commodity that gets bought all the time, leave your customer with something (extra) to be desired.

good fear

Fearlessness sounds cool, as does “no regrets.” While these sentiments may seem desirable on paper, in reality, that’s often not the case. Without a healthy dose every once in a while, you may just be scratching the surface.

What are some legitimate fears? What if my customers don’t experience enough added value (anymore)? Which innovation have I missed that could turn my business model upside down?

Resting on one’s laurels is rarely a sound business strategy. Keep your eyes open. Allow yourself to be ever so slightly afraid in order to use that energy to improve your business.

beget regret

As the old saying goes, you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. By the time that particular feeling of absence kicks in, it’s often already too late to revert. For the regrets we inadvertently add to our list, most of them stem from things that we didn’t do, rather than did do.

Some regrets materialize near-instantly, where others take time to grow, perhaps even intensifying over time. Certainly, those regrets were preceded by an uneasy, weary feeling. Let’s call it gut-feeling for now.

How does one quantify gut feeling? It’s as if some intestine intelligence consistently beats our brain in a drag race towards understanding.
At times, the cerebral understanding of what our bellies are signaling comes but a split second later. Other times, it takes years.

If we can confide in ourselves and feel a regret starting to manifest itself, chances are, we most likely will end up regretting it. Hence, trust the gut, or get regret added to your stack.