How ‘grass is greener’ syndrome ruins careers

The majority of entrants in the job market are fresh university and college graduates, but there are some perennial and seasoned job seekers.

This latter group is made up of individuals who are eternally unsatisfied with any career goal they set for themselves, and are always on the lookout for the elusive dream job. They suffer from the ‘grass is greener on the other side’ syndrome.

This syndrome can be defined as the persistent inability to accept and appreciate your current situation. Career builders who suffer from this have the fixated belief that there exist jobs that are both thrilling and fulfilling out there.

This belief is so ingrained in their minds that they are willing to spend their whole career searching for the ideal job in the right organisation, right industry, right location, right size, and with the right working hours and compensation.

This search blinds them to the opportunities they already have.

If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you may be a victim of the ‘grass is greener’ syndrome.


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How many times have you changed jobs in the last two years? How long does it take to you to engage the job-scouting gear after signing an offer letter?

Do you believe in a transactional work relationship or do you want to have your cake and eat it, too? Do you always feel like quitting if an appraisal does not go your way?

Do you believe that your peers are working for your dream employer and earning your dream salary, yet you feel that you are superior to them?

The myth of the grass being greener on the other side of the fence is responsible for the miserable career junkies we see, who have low self-esteem and are bitter with life.

It is important for career builders to investigate the underlying factors that inhibit their commitment to an organisation. A career counsellor or therapist can help with this.

Focus on building internal stability through personal development to deal with the need to jump from job to job searching for the elusive ideal.

The writer is a career coach and co-author of ‘The Career Code’. [email protected]


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