How do you know when it’s time to leave your job? Maybe the work doesn’t stimulate you in the way it once did. Maybe the pay isn’t enough. Or maybe your boss doesn’t seem to recognize your advanced degrees, years of experience, and all the late hours you’ve pulled. You believe you deserve a promotion and a raise. But your boss doesn’t seem to notice.
What do you do then?
Your first thought might be to go out and find another job. You have the qualifications to quickly pick up another similar job. You would get hired easily and at least you won’t have to deal with the boring work, low pay, and an unappreciative boss. Sounds easy enough, right?
But what if you decided to go a different route?
Oftentimes when we find ourselves in a job we no longer like, the first instinct is to make an escape. We decide to leave the old job behind in search for a new one so that we no longer have to deal with the issues. The thought is that by leaving the problem behind we will rid ourselves completely from it and start brand new. The problem with that logic is that it is not really resolving anything. We are simply running away from a challenge and the opportunity to use it to create a better situation for ourselves. It would be easy for us to walk away from it because then we don’t have to deal with the fears that come with facing the challenge head on. But when we don’t embrace it, we don’t grow and we find ourselves facing the same challenge later on down the road in the new job. Same challenges, different job.
Suppose instead of finding a new job, you were forthright with your manager about the boredom with your current work responsibilities and your desire to expand and learn more in your role?
What if instead of leaving your job, you challenged yourself to speak to your boss about what she would need to see from you in order to get a promotion and a raise?
What if instead of leaving your job, you expressed the frustration you feel when your efforts in staying long hours go unnoticed?
By embracing the challenge you connect with what’s important to you, move past your fears, and transform the situation. By facing our challenges head on, we may not always be able to change the situation on the outside. It may turn out that your boss still won’t give you a raise and your stuck with the same boring work. However, if that happens, at that point, you can acknowledge that instead of running away, you have fully met the obstacle and it is time to move on.
If a great escape calls to you, this might be your fears talking. The next time you are faced with a difficulties at work, before heading over to LinkedIn to dust off your profile and begin job hunting, challenge yourself to find ways you can instead transform the situation by confronting it.
Keep me posted on how it goes firstname.lastname@example.org.