Let me qualify this graphic. As an executive coach and a CEO who hires people I sometimes see professionals quit their jobs before they have another one. Generally, they do this because they are exhausted, see no way out of their pain and simply cannot spend one more minute in an intolerable situation. They feel they need to do this to preserve their sanity. The problem is that a few months down the road they often find themselves feeling worse – unemployed, without income, feeling low self-esteem, ineffective and desperate.
I want to go on record in saying that quitting your job before you have another one is a mistake. I realize that some people have done this, and it has worked out fine. But in my experience as a CEO for 20 years and an executive coach for 12 that is the exception. Hiring managers can be leery of people who are not working. It is one red flag that someone who is working does not have. Keep that red flag down. It puts you in a better position to negotiate a better salary. It also positions you to build resilience – a skill that will serve you well throughout your career.
Keep your job and convert negative energy to strategic action.
Dissect your stress. Is it an occurrence, a person or a group? Most often one person is the root cause of misery at work. See the source of your stress as a situation and not an overarching reflection on you. Don’t let it be personal, pervasive or fear it will be permanent. Draw a boundary to detach from the source. A boundary is an invisible line between what you will and will not allow. The negative person can continue his or her punitive behavior. And you can make a conscious commitment to disallow it from pervading your peace. Mindful daily practices such as meditation, yoga, physical activity, and non-judgmental reflection increase the likelihood of creating space between what they say and what you think about what they say.
Identify three people you admire and watch a YouTube video of each. Note the cadence of their voice, their eye contact, posture, expressions, body language, and relatability. Write down two things that you admire most and will work on. Commit to how and when you will practice what you want to achieve. You might spend five minutes in the morning talking in front of the mirror. You might video yourself delivering a speech and watch it without judgment, only curiosity.
Define your values and research companies that live those values - not just hang them on the wall. Your values are intrinsic to your nature. They are so ingrained and prioritized that no matter what happens nobody could ever take them away from you. Examples include your sense of humor, tenacity, family, resourcefulness, compassion. Reach into your social networks and identify companies that exhibit those values every day.
Compile a list of companies that live your values and are revered as such by others. Identify these companies by searching online under “hot jobs,” “job projections,” or “best places to work.”
Connect with people in your watch list by using LinkedIn, Xing, MyOpportunity, and Gadball. Ask them why they enjoy working where they are and how they would describe the culture. Let them know what you’ve learned about that company so they see you as serious and informed. Don’t ask them for a recommendation until after you have stablished a strong connection. Most likely they will offer to help.
When you use your energy in a focused way toward a goal you won’t feel as stagnant or frustrated in your current position because you’re moving in a positive direction. Then be wise enough to wait for what you deserve.
If you are struggling with uncertainty and feeling ineffective in your career watch my FREE Training on Three Ways to Move to the Next Level In Your Career Right Now to 1) identify the right role for you, 2) position your transferable skills and 3) create a career portfolio that sells you before you even get an interview. If you don't know where you will be at the end of the year, you are already there.
P.S. Feel free to send this link to someone who could benefit from it. We are all walking down the same road in life looking for a hand to hold. Sometimes we must be the hand that reaches out.
Mary Lee Gannon, ACC, CAE is an executive coach and 19-year corporate CEO who helps leaders have more effective careers, happier lives and better relationships. Request a free consultation call.
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