Have you overstayed you welcome with your present company or, when is it time to move on by Roz Usheroff
I found a recent article by Jack and Suzy Welch most interesting as it posed a question (or questions) that I would imagine many are afraid to ask. Okay, maybe not afraid of the question so much as the possible answer itself.
In Four Reasons to Quit Your Job, the Welch’s indicated that you should ask yourself the following questions before making the decision to leave your present job;
- do you want to go to work every morning?
- do you enjoy spending time with your coworkers?
- does your company help you fulfill your personal mission?
- can you picture yourself at your company in a year?
Obviously, and as the Welch article states, these are not exactly questions that are being presented for the first time. Let’s face it, who hasn’t wondered at some point in time, if their chosen field had suddenly become a minefield of disappointment and frustration.
The real question is whether you should leave if just one of the above is out of alignment. I know that there is a certain link between each of the questions and their corresponding answers i.e. if you don’t like spending time with your co-workers then you are not likely to look forward to going into the office every morning. But is it really a deal breaker? Perhaps if you are disconnected from your associates you might look for ways to discover points of common interest within the framework of your company’s goals. In other words, how can you work together to better achieve a shared objective from both a company as well as a personal standpoint.
Of course even with the desire to improve working relationships, it would be unrealistic to expect that you are going to always like and get along with everyone with whom you work. But if your company helps you to fulfill your personal mission, you are more likely to weather or at least seek to better manage difficult relationships within the context of this bigger picture.
So here is my point, which of the above four factors – or for that matter any other that you can think of – are a sign that it is time to move on?
In an excerpt from my book The Future of You! I would like to share with you the following personal experience:
When I began my career, I aspired to spend it in fashion retail management. I was accepted into one of the most intense and thorough retail management programs in the industry. The downside of such an honor is that it created the illusion that I was suited to manage people. As a result, and for several years, in addition to running the business side of retail I was also mandated to build a solid sales force. This included being responsible for hiring, firing, and motivating a sales team.
If the truth be known, I was just mediocre at managing staff. I certainly knew it and perhaps my team did as well, especially given the fact that my passion for the assigned task waned when I had to push them to exceed their sales goals.
In this regard, my experience with one particular company stands out.
Due to construction, a parking lot that was adjacent to the store was closed for several months. Consequently, traffic was reduced by more than 60 percent. Despite the circumstances, leadership continued to set high sales targets. I vehemently disagreed with these “unrealistic” targets and commiserated with the sales team for being placed in a no-win situation. Despite my misgivings, I was nonetheless mandated to fire low producers and pressure top performers to move more merchandise with high pressure selling. Perhaps if I were highly competitive, I would have risen to the occasion.
However, my personal focus was on building my own clientele based on establishing a strong rapport and trust, and ensuring that customers were purchasing styles that best complimented their body shape and lifestyle.
After some deep soul searching, I had to admit that the “disconnect” between leadership’s objectives and my personal values and goals meant that I was a lousy manager in that I didn’t know how to motivate a frustrated sales force. It took a couple of years more to finally acknowledge that management was not my strength and that my discontentment was being transferred to my staff. My work was at best mediocre and the days felt like they were getting longer and longer. My passion no longer existed and my energy level hit rock bottom. I became a mechanical manager in an energy-robbing role.
In retrospect, that should have been a warning for me to leave. I was doing a job, not living my dream.
In the end, the fulfillment of my personal mission – or lack thereof – was a non-negotiable factor. I can deal with difficult relationships or long hours (for a time), and even the pressure involved with the management of an important project. After all, I have viewed these situational issues as being part of any business no matter what you do or who you do it with. But what I could not do, was be less than honest with myself and with my employer.
What this means is that your personal mission statement should ultimately be your conscience or guide when you consider where you are today and where you want to be tomorrow.
Given your current position, how does what you do today align with your personal mission? This to me is the first and most important question to ask . . . and answer.