Client Question: “How do you know that it is time to leave your company?”
Two different people asked me this question this week. The answer can be different for everyone depending on their circumstances. In general, there are things that happen that cause you to be unhappy with your current situation. So what does that mean? The answers for this may vary, but I think of it in terms of a pain threshold. How much pain are you willing to deal with before you do something about it?
If it is minor pain, you may be willing to deal with it because there are other things that make it worthwhile to stay. Some examples of minor pains may be working in an area you don’t love, working with a team member who annoys you or you receive a lower merit raise than you would have liked. When the pain grows to a major level, then you must make the tough decision. Major pains may include working for a bad manager, being forced into a job that is not good for you, being demoted, not making enough money to support your family, and major instability in the organization. One of the questions you need to ask is do you feel that you have too much invested there to leave? Are you willing to stay no matter what? Many times these are financially driven situations. You may have stock options that you don’t want to walk away from, a pension that you would like to continue to fund, a child in college, good insurance, or you are close to retirement and don’t want to try to find a job for a few more years.
I will share my experience with you. At the time of the merger at my company, I had been there for 25+ years. My experience at the company was like a marriage that has a lot of time and energy invested into it and you don’t want to just throw it away. Many of you have never stayed at a company that long and would question why I stayed as long as I did. Up until that point, I was moving into different functions, getting promoted, getting different experiences, had a great boss, had a lot of responsibility, and the culture was focused on employee engagement. I worked with some fantastic people and I had a team that was great. Those things kept me engaged and although there were minor pains, it wasn’t enough to make me want to leave. I am a big believer in people development and I believed that the culture was going to change enough that I would no longer be as happy in it. When someone asked me if I was going to stay, I literally felt sick to my stomach. I had to trust my gut that this was going to be a tough decision to leave, but the right one for me.
I began working on a contingency plan of coaching at night and teaching part-time. I really thought that this was something that I would do farther into the future. Obviously, I had to start to execute my plan B sooner than expected. I am so glad that I had planned ahead and didn’t walk out with nothing in the works. If you don’t have a contingency plan, start working on one so it is ready to go should you need it. Everyone had to make the decision that is right for them. Being prepared to do this before you leave is something that you can start now.
If you are feeling major pain and you are not tied to a financial reason to stay, then start looking for other options. You don’t need to leave immediately, but you need to start seeing what is out in the market. Think about what roles you would like to pursue, get your resume updated, start building out your network if you don’t have one, start applying for roles that look interesting, find a recruiter that can help you and begin to execute your plan for leaving. This is one of the most difficult decisions that you will have to make, but just deciding to leave will make an immediate difference in your mindset.
Are you thinking of leaving your company? The ReVISION Group Coaching Program is starting soon and will help you work on your contingency plan. Check out the NEW packages that ReVISION is offering and the testimonials from the people who just completed the program at this link:http://susanmbarber.com/revision-program/ The next group is starting soon, so reserve your spot today!