By Russell Benaroya, Co-founder of Stride Services, author of One Life to Lead, speaker, coach and entrepreneur.
It seems that everywhere you turn, the headlines read that 2021/2022 will be a year of significant turnover at organizations. According to a recent article in the Society for Resource Management (SHRM), one study indicated that more than half of employees plan to look for a new job in 2021. In another study, a quarter of workers plan to just quit their jobs outright. The reason: The pandemic gave people a year to reflect on what they really want and what they want their lives to look like. This awakening by millions of employees sounds exciting. But here’s the problem: You still have to live with yourself.
Transitions are opportunities for reinvention and new perspective and that’s cool! It’s a big world out there. But the most important thing to do before quitting your job is to determine whether you’re just going to be creating the same situation with your next employer. In other words, approach your next chapter with your eyes wide open about your contribution leading to your dissatisfaction.
When we leave a job, we often blame the employer for the circumstances that led to discontent. It’s hard for us to quell our ego and acknowledge our responsibility. When we become more aware of ourselves, rather than blaming others, we can embrace the next transition with more thoughtful intention.
Consider these steps of awareness before pulling the ripcord and quitting your job in order to avoid the same situations at the next one.
1. Ask yourself: ‘What is 100% my responsibility?’
It’s a simple question but one easy to dismiss. Sit with it. How are you a contributor to the experiences you are having, both positive and negative? What was your role in the outcome? How were you committed to being in this situation going forward?
2. Check your principles.
Principles represent our nonnegotiables about how we are going to design our life. Without principles, making life transitions might be hasty. Think of principles as the foundation and framing for a house before all the siding gets put on. People can’t see your principles but without them, the house won’t stand for long. Build out your principles for how you want to be and then evaluate your transition consideration relative to those.
3. Separate stories from facts.
The mind is insanely powerful in its ability to bend truth toward a perspective that suits you. “Of course I’m going to leave this company. They don’t take care of their employees,” might be something you’re saying to yourself. Is that a fact or does that narrative help you justify your position? Before you make your move, assess whether the stories you are telling yourself are grounded in facts.
4. Communicate with integrity.
If you spend a lot of time frustrated with your current work situation but haven’t openly expressed your challenges to your employer with a desire to find a resolution, then you aren’t operating with integrity. Integrity is defined as “the firm adherence to a code of especially moral… values.” If I’m feeling angry but I don’t ever communicate that, I don’t have integrity. It’s amazing how much lighter you can feel and how much potential for opportunity exists when you can free yourself by expressing your thoughts in a constructive way.
5. Get in and stay in your genius zone.
Your genius zone is the area in which tasks are seemingly effortless, where you lose track of time and your results are outstanding. Have you found your zone? Running toward your genius zone is awesome. Make sure that the transition you are contemplating will further that pursuit.
Think of your job as just a sandbox. There are a lot of sandboxes out there, so you don’t have to stay in that one. But before you jump to another sandbox, see how you show up with the tools already in front of you. Your ability to build a bigger sandcastle will emerge when you are clear on what you are running toward, not what you are running from.