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Inspired Workplace Q&A: When is it Time to Go?

Photo By Martin Stelbrink

Photo By Martin Stelbrink

Q:  I have grown to hate my job.  I feel the dread coming on sometime around 6:00pm on Sunday night.  I don’t want to get out of bed in the morning.  As hard as I try, I am not doing a very good job (lord knows neither the people I report to nor the ones who report to me look satisfied).  There are probably some things I could do to change things, but I don’t know if I want to or if I even have the energy.  I am so sick of corporate culture. Maybe I should start my own business.  You’re always saying that I can improve my situation by improving my leadership and communication skills, but when is it time just to leave?

A:   Every so often, I have an individual client who has started the Improve Performance NOW! program (that’s the one that helps middle managers increase their productivity by managing more effectively, improve the bottom line, and create 180 degree opportunities for advancement) who realizes in the Vision and Confidence section that maybe they don’t want to advance, that maybe they want to start their own business instead.

This is a good ah-ha, because their unconscious ambivalence was the likely culprit in creating that experience they’ve labeled as “stuck.” It’s actually a crossroads that they hadn’t yet recognized, and now they that they see it, they have a before-unrealized opportunity to create the work life that they really want.

What we want is a process to think through this so that we don’t end up in a new form of stuck, the “OMG WHAT DO I DO NOW!” version.

What is your gut telling you?  I don’t mean intuition in the pure sense.  I mean, how does it feel?  Your body processes thought and emotion, especially around stress and anger.  Not to be too Freudian, but chronic stress can come about because there are emotions that just aren’t “acceptable” for successful people to exhibit, so we hide them.  Feelings of failure come right to mind.  These feelings can manifest as back pain.  Many times, you can feel them in your gut.  So, think about the tasks you have to do, the people you work with, the meetings you go to.  What is your gut telling you?

Are you done?  There comes a point when it isn’t worth the energy to try to salvage the situation.  You know you’re done when the pain points aren’t short term, like when the culture is so antithetical to your core beliefs that you just can’t reconcile them anymore.

How did you get here?  There must have been something about your work that you find or found rewarding.  Is it still there?  What’s changed to make that not enough?

Be cognizant that we tend to attract similar situations over and over again.  Familiarity breeds comfort.  Awareness is what’s going to keep you from getting that same unwanted result/

Once you’ve analyzed whether it is time to go, you can move onto the question about being an entrepreneur.  The fallacy in this example is that it was posed as an either/or option.  Whether you it’s time to leave and whether it’s a good idea to start a business are very separate questions.

I’m not going to address the business question in this post, except to say that many people tend to get an undesirable result when they make decisions based on what they don’t want (like their current job) as opposed to what they do want.  Also, many people who leave jobs to strike out on their own create a job, not a business, and find themselves in trouble shortly down the road.  Do your research and figure out the whole business, not just the part that you’re already good at.

I’m interesting in hearing your stories on this subject.  Please feel free to post below.

Be Your Best You Today,


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