From Leaving your job

For You

Today you found out you were laid off from work.  Beyond the shock, you felt dejected and angry.  Angry that they chose you, angry that you hadn’t left on your terms, and shocked that after all those years of service – you were the one they picked.   Your upbringing has made you want predictability, dislike taking risks, and like the routine this job gave you.  When the confusion of what happened clears your head, think about the following:  Yes, you were the one they chose.  But what if by choosing you they did for you what you couldn’t do for yourself?  Give you the freedom to do something completely different in life, reinvent yourself, re-ignite and chase old dreams.  What if by choosing you they liberated you from the fear that holds you back from taking risks, embracing uncertainty and new routines in life?  There should be no question in your mind that you will succeed at whatever you put your mind to.

You are an intelligent, passionate, loving, caring, compassionate human being with all the attributes that define success.  You have the IT factor, the right stuff.  The stuff that separates smart people from highly successful people.  So, go for it.  Take the time to explore what else, what if.  You will be tempted to jump right back in, to go back to the routine of what you know.  If you do, do so only after you have tested new waters, the uncharted ones, the ones you’ve dreamed about.  Don’t live to regret the things you didn’t dare to do.  Life is full of ups and downs, the mundane and the extraordinary.  Be grateful for it all.  Because even in the lows of life, there are precious lessons we are left with.  Someday you will look back at today as a defining moment.  The day you faced your greatest fear and you learned that happiness isn’t defined by how much money you make. It’s defined by how you chose to live your life.   Whatever you do – choose wisely.

Before You Walk Away

I’m not sure how many of us pursue the things we care deeply about as part of how we make a living. Or how many of us wake up every day with gratitude that we have a job we love. I believe that this is the secret to life happiness.

If you have the privilege to have this kind of job today, you must carefully consider all new job opportunities that come your way with this value as your compass. Sometimes job opportunities will fall in your lap that seemingly look terrific today. But when you look at them with your long-term lens you may realize that you have short-changed yourself for the future. Will you be doing something you love or just getting more money or a big title? You may not have a choice but to take a job for more money. But when you are doing well and don’t have dire financial circumstances, you must think carefully about all new job offers. Where does the new position take you, will it move your career forward in the future, will you wake up every day excited to go to work?

Sometimes when you add it all up – it doesn’t add up. Take it all in, subtract out the differences in location, costs of living, and other incidentals – you may find that it’s a step back, not forward. Patience is at a premium but remains one of the most important things we should strive for in life. It will be tested, especially at times when you are vulnerable, when you think you need a change. Slow thinking is needed. Don’t rush life changing decisions. Be deliberate, thoughtful, and seek out advice from trusted individuals. In the end – follow your instincts, always keep the long view in mind, and ask yourself – will you love what you do?

5 Things to Remember When You Think It’s Time to Leave your Job

1. Take the time to truly assess your job situation. Be certain that you are doing it for the right reasons. How you leave an organization is as important as when you entered it. Stay engaged until you’ve left.

2. Talk it over with someone you trust. Leaving a job is an important decision.

3. Once you’ve done the above, take the opportunity to do your homework. In the ideal world, find another job that gives you a promotion or a growth opportunity.

4. Consult your family and assess your personal situation. If you have to move, make sure they are comfortable with where you want to go. This is will affect them too.

5. If possible, use a professional or a head hunter to help vet opportunities. If you must contact others to help you, make sure they keep your decision confidential.

Enough is Enough: Making that Big Decision

I was asked to give someone advice about leaving their job.  Here’s what I said:

Giving someone advice about life decisions isn’t easy.  The mood, the place, the company – all affect what you may say or not say when you are asked.  More importantly, we often think about things we should have said after the moment is gone.  So here’s some advice I once gave someone who was in the midst of making a big life decision.  In this case, it was easier said in writing than in person:

1.  Life is about choices.  All choices and actions have consequences.  Being able to live with whatever the consequences are, is the secret to overcoming the inertia of doing nothing.  The first step is always the hardest.  Pursuing what you are passionate begins with knowing what makes you tick.  Is it something creative, something you want to build, something that will give you purpose, or even something that you believe may change the world?  Start there.

2. Give yourself the space and time you need to think things through.  But don’t over plan or try to predict all the permutations of what could happen.  That is paralyzing.

3. Start slowly.  Sampling the different options you believe you would like can be quite fun.  The first step can a ‘baby’ step. That’s ok because it gives you some time to do some homework.

4. At some point, you have to be willing to take a chance.  Life-changing decisions are never without risks.  Being willing to take that risk takes courage.  People that don’t take risks in life, risk looking back wishing they had.  They also risk resenting the things and the people they perceive to have held them back.

5. You are very smart.  Take a hard look at where you are now and what you’ve accomplished.  In the very unlikely event that things don’t work out – you have something you can go back to doing.

6. In the end, you may choose to stay put.  That doesn’t mean you can’t pursue other interests too.  Push yourself to pursue them in your spare/off time.  It can act as a coping strategy for high stress/high stakes jobs.  And sometimes it can lead to something bigger.

I wish you insight, courage, and peace of mind and heart, whatever you decide to do.