Tim tells me why he has to leave his current company every couple of months. Then he says he has to stay. Leadership is lacking. The work ethic stinks. His office only stays alive because it is propped up by corporate headquarters. He and his boss both know what is wrong. Tim can’t fix it and the boss won’t fix it.
Tim does have a good reason to stay. He had five jobs in four years before he took this job. He wants to make it to the two or even three year mark here to clear up his resume. If the office lasts that long without being closed, he will stay.
More important than collecting years of service, he is collecting accomplishments. Tim can prove he produces 2/3 of the output at his office of 6 people. He has proof that his occasional training of coworkers has had a deep impact. Tim has numbers. Tim has projects and accomplishments. Those numbers look even better because of his unproductive coworkers.
This is not a race away from his old job. Tim is slowly rowing away from the rocks in his career. He may need a new job tomorrow or in two years. There is no telling how long corporate will suffer losses cheerfully. So he is preparing to leave.
If you are in a dead end job, use it as a lifeboat to your next job. Be the most important person in your office. Keep track of exactly how good you are. Slowly row away from the rocks in your lifeboat job.
Something to do today
Whether you plan on it or not, your current job is the boat you are in until your next job. Collect accomplishments, projects and cheerful statistics.
Write those accomplishments in your job journal. Give a list of them to your manager. That is the only way to be sure he notices what you do.