The Mid-Career GPS Podcast

185: Minimizing Risk When Deciding to Leave Your Job

September 19, 2023 John Neral Season 3
The Mid-Career GPS Podcast
185: Minimizing Risk When Deciding to Leave Your Job
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Feeling stuck in a career rut? Contemplating a career pivot but overwhelmed by the risk? We promise, after this episode, you'll have a clearer path ahead. Drawing from the inspiring story of my father's resilient career transition, we dive deep into 12 crucial considerations that can help you decide whether a job change is due before the year's end.

Join us as we dissect the nuances of job satisfaction, professional growth, work environment, and personal changes. We emphasize not just the importance of being happy in your job, but also growing professionally and recognizing a toxic work environment. The episode provides tailored advice to suit your unique situation and offers a balanced perspective on the pros and cons of staying in a job versus seeking new opportunities. We also explore how understanding your worth and using it to negotiate better terms within your current organization can be a game changer.

Lastly, we underscore the significance of self-reflection in making career choices and wrap up with a powerful reminder: the decision should ultimately support your wellbeing. Whether you're thinking about a career move or trying to maximize your current job, this episode is a treasure trove of valuable advice and strategies to shepherd you through your mid-career crossroads. So, buckle up, and let's turn this crossroad into a stepping stone for your career growth.

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Speaker 1:

If you're unhappy in your job or in your career path, you're probably asking yourself multiple times a day if you should stay or leave. It's a question many mid-career professionals ask themselves because they believe that the answer they give will determine their career fate and success. Well, how true is that? In this episode, I'm gonna give you 12 considerations to determine whether or not it's time to leave your job before the end of the year and what planning steps you should take if you think it's time to go, let's get started. ["midcareer"]. Hello my friends, this is episode 185 of the Mid-Career GPS Podcast. I'm your host, john Nerrell. I help mid-career professionals who feel stuck, undervalued and underutilized show up to find a job they love, or love the job they have, by using my proven four-step formula. I've heard from several listeners recently who have found the podcast and they share that they listen on their commute, while they're doing the dishes I'm glad I can make that one more entertaining and why they get value from listening, whether it's a current or past episode. Thank you for reaching out. If you've enjoyed the podcast, I would be grateful if you would tell three friends about it and share why you like it, what you're learning, what benefits you get out of the stories and conversations we have here on the pod. My podcast grows because of people like you, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your support. Today's episode is about assessing risk in your career, and making a career move is all about how well you can mitigate that risk. We know there are no absolutes in our career and if we've seen anything recently industry shift change, companies thrive, companies don't, and sometimes the move that you need to make in your career, well, it really isn't your decision. Sometimes, when companies lay off or they reduce force, you find yourself all of a sudden without a job and needing to find one rather quickly. I'm often inspired in situations like this by my dad and, interestingly enough, today would have been my dad's birthday. It's on days like this when I think about him and one of the most memorable times he and I had. I was a teenager in high school and I remember my dad sitting at the kitchen table. He was staring at all of these blueprints and plans and memorizing and studying them, because he was gonna be interviewing for a new job at an oil refinery in New Jersey. His job as a service station manager on the New Jersey Turnpike was coming to an end because the company who had the contract lost their bid, and I remember asking my dad saying to him dad, what happens if you don't get this job? And he looked at me and he said, john, there's no option. I have to get this job, otherwise we don't eat. I remember feeling so scared at that point and it was from that moment that I grew this newfound appreciation for my dad as this resilient and tenacious individual who was gonna do everything he could to support his family. We were very fortunate. My dad got that job. He stayed there until he retired and my dad worked very, very hard throughout his entire career. I'm sad that he didn't get to enjoy his retirement as much as we all hoped. He unfortunately passed away in his late 70s but he had some health issues and things like that. He retired pretty late but nevertheless there was such fondness in my heart for his work ethic that he instilled in me as one of the many things my dad taught me. So I took that information, I took that experience and I thought that if I had any control over my career which I know I have 100% control and I'm responsible for my career that I could stay ahead of curves as much as possible. Now I started my career as a teacher and once I got tenure there was certainly job security. But when I started feeling like I was stuck and I didn't wanna do that job anymore, I pivoted into an administrative role. I moved from New Jersey to Washington DC. I went into that administrator role. I jumped to another administrative role after a reorg and after another situation at that organization where I saw things starting to change. It was upon the advice of my former boss and colleague who suggested I go apply for a job at an educational nonprofit, and they stayed there for five years until I left that organization with a lot of gratitude to open my coaching practice full-time. The things that are happening right now in our workplace is understandably a lot of uncertainty and you may be thinking and wondering do you sacrifice your overall job happiness for a steady paycheck? What I want to offer you at the onset of these 12 considerations is that you are the only one that can truly make the best decision for you. My goal in this episode is to help expand your thinking and opening up some ideas to help you make that decision in whatever you feel is best for you at the moment, and I want to acknowledge that sometimes, staying where you are, especially in difficult times, may be the absolute best move for you, if you do something I'm going to talk about a little later. So the first consideration is how happy are you? Do you dread going to work in the morning? Do you get the Sunday scaries? Are you upset that you feel like you're stuck in a job that you don't really like doing? Your days are long. They may be a little boring. They may be working with people that you don't care to. You have to weigh out what is your happiness worth in your career? And if you are unhappy, what is the move? Where do you go? Do you stay with the same industry? Do you look for a lateral? Do you go to a competitor? Are there clauses in your contract, such as a non-compete, that may prohibit you from going to a competitor? Your happiness is worth something. We can't overlook that. But when you're thinking about leaving a job know this it's usually not the money. That is the first thing. In fact, we're not even going to talk about money in this list today. Your happiness is something that should be paramount for you in your career. The second consideration here is how satisfied are you in the work you do? Do you feel motivated, inspired? Do you feel like you're adding value every day, or do you feel like you're undervalued and underutilized Because of that? How much longer are you willing to put up with it? Consideration number three is about your professional growth. If you believe you're not growing in your job, how does that change? One of the things that I found particularly helpful when I was trying to make a career pivot and the job that I wanted to move to was going to take me another year to get there because of some budget issues. I went into that job the job that I wasn't really thrilled with for one more year with this thought what do I get to learn on the job this year that's going to help me be a better leader and administrator and professional. When I go to this new job a year from now, what am I meant to learn? Putting a growth plan in place for myself made going to work a little bit easier when I felt like my mind and my heart were being pulled in opposite directions. Well, really it was different directions. It wasn't opposite because I knew where I was moving to, right, but that's the thing right? How are you growing? You can be in a job where you may feel a little stuck, but I want to offer you that that growth is pivotal. It is key for helping you see the light at the end of the tunnel to whatever is next. The fourth consideration is is your work environment, or the people you're working with or for, toxic? We hear this word thrown around a lot, but where I want to ground us in this conversation today is by acknowledging that a toxic work environment is unhealthy, it is abusive, it is demoralizing. You may have somebody blocking your career path because they don't want you to have another opportunity, because you're too valuable to them where you are. That's toxic. That's not being supportive on your growth journey. So if you're dealing with toxicity, my friends, I feel you and I hear you on that. I have certainly dealt with that in my career as well. Again, it's about how do you manage the toxicity until you can get out or change the situation to make your work and professional life better. Now, when you think about how valuable you are, yeah, okay, let's bring up the issue of money. I said we weren't going to talk about money, but let me pull this in here for a quick second. If you believe you can be paid more elsewhere, I want you to do the research and the data to support it. This isn't so much about you leaving because you want more money. This is about you leaving because you know you can make more money elsewhere. That may be a bargaining chip for you to be retained and stay in your current organization. Your money, your overall compensation is attached to your value. So we go back to the second consideration here, in that if you're feeling undervalued and underutilized, how do we change that? How do we make that better? Number six is about what happens when your values are disconnected from that of the organization Values how you show up what's important to you, what you appreciate in terms of you know the importance of the work and how the work is done. They can change, and they change based on a variety of situations and circumstances. But if you're feeling of values disconnect here, that is something to examine. Is there a way for you to get your values aligned, or is it best for you to find another place where your values are a better fit? This often happens when a company goes through a restructuring or a shift in intentions and you may feel like you no longer fit in that organization as you once did. Definitely take some chance here to reassess your values, how connected they are to the overall mission and vision of the organization. Let's talk about your health and your well-being. This is important. If we've learned anything over the last few years. Because of the pandemic, we know people are reassessing what their overall health and wellness look like. If you're being asked to return to the office, do you have a longer commute? Have you gotten quote unquote comfortable with working remotely and you don't want to go back to the work site? Or maybe things over the last few years have given you better work-life balance and you're afraid you're going to lose that. Or maybe your current job is so demanding and stressful now that you may be back to traveling more. Or you're in the midst of a big product launch or a project delivery and deadline that your work-life balance has gotten out of sync. It's one of those things where people will often say I need to make this amount of money, but I am willing to get paid a little bit less if I get better work-life balance. Another consideration here is are there better opportunities for you professionally outside of your organization If you're looking to advance up the corporate ladder. If you're looking at that next promotion and that's being blocked or not available to you in your current organization and you have had the conversations around that growth and trajectory are you better off going elsewhere? That's something to consider. You are 100% responsible for your career. What does that growth trajectory look like for you in terms of the opportunities you want to scale your career accordingly? Okay, how's your performance? If you've gotten an unfavorable performance appraisal, if something has happened where your performance has suffered and the company has noticed. If you're on a professional improvement plan, if you feel like you're being squeezed in a way that they would far rather have you leave than fire you, that may be a sign that it is time to get out. Not all professional improvement plans are designed or intended to get a person to leave. In its truest form, a PIP or Professional Performance Improvement Plan is intended to reassess, reevaluate and rehabilitate A employee's overall performance. That moves them to a satisfactory level by putting certain structures and timelines in place to monitor their progress and success. But if you look at that situation, you go. I'm probably going to be gone in 30 days. You may want to get ahead of a curve on that. One Another consideration here is about company instability. Companies are changing. If your company isn't doing well, if you're seeing people being laid off around you, you may think that it might be time for you to get ahead of that before they fire you or let you go and go somewhere else. But here's the thing to consider If you're working in a company that's experiencing incredible growth they are bringing more people on board, they are scaling in a way that is destined to set them up for success Then how do you position yourself to create and find that job that you're going to love inside the organization that you already enjoy working in, because that's directly tied to your professional growth. What does that look like for you? How do you have that conversation? The last two considerations are things more of a personal nature. So one is what does your personal growth look like? You may have an interest outside of work that you enjoy and you want it to take up a lot of your time, or take up more of your time and balance those things out. Some of you may know that I am a professional bowler. I still compete out on the senior regional tour and when I was younger and I had aspirations of pursuing a bowling career. I actually quit a part-time job that I had on the weekends because it was conflicting with my opportunity to go bowling, compete at tournaments and get ready to go out on tour. You have to look at the things in your life that are important to you and how you honor them in such a way and it brings me to this last consideration what are the changes going on in your life that need your attention and priority? That will help you have a better work life? Your partner, your spouse? You may be getting ready to welcome a child into your family. You may be in a situation where you're also preparing to say goodbye to a loved one who's going to be passing, be it from a terminal illness or something else. I was talking with somebody recently and we were talking about how death is the only certainty that we know of that. It always comes back to that as we go through this life. I'm not trying to be morose or morbid here, but I often find that it is one of those common experiences that unites us in so many ways, and yet the experiences are so unique and different that we can't relate. So one of the things is so both of my parents are deceased. My husband's parents are both deceased as well, and we're at the stage in our life where we're seeing friends who are losing their parents, and we'll often sit there and say how we understand on some level, but that the grief experiences theirs and that when we were losing our parents, we were going through a certain time in our life. And how do we help our friends navigate this part of their journey and their experience? Because we're there to be supportive friends for them as well. Life happens. You're going to go to work for eight or more hours a day and you're going to go back to your life. Life keeps moving, life happens and it continues, and so sometimes, when we think about taking the risk and moving into a new job, it is because of a change that's going on in our life. You're ready to take on more responsibility. You need to take on less responsibility, whatever that is. But before you make a decision about whether or not you want to leave your job, it is essential to thoroughly understand how to thoroughly evaluate your circumstances and consider any potential consequences that come from leaving your job. You can do all the things you can network, update your resume, seek advice from close colleagues, mentors, career counselors, coaches they can all be helpful. Ultimately, if you decide to leave your job and move on to another position, it should be, in my opinion, based on a thoughtful assessment and evaluation of your current circumstances and your long term career goals. So, to wrap up, here are the 12 considerations I shared with you today as to why you may strongly consider leaving your job. Number one you're unhappy. Number two you're dissatisfied. Number three you aren't growing. Number four it's a toxic work environment. Number five you may be compensated more elsewhere. Number six your values are disconnected. Number seven your health and well-being. Number eight is better opportunities. Number nine evaluating your performance. Number 10, looking at your overall professional growth trajectory. Number 11, company instability. And number 12, life changes. Now, if you are feeling stuck, undervalued and underutilized and you are wondering what's next for your career and you're curious about working with a coach to help you, I would be honored to help you. All you need to do is reach out. You can direct message me on LinkedIn or email me at john at johnnarrowcom. Let's talk about how coaching can help you get that career clarity to whatever is next for you and your career. I look forward to hearing from you, but in the meantime, my friends, remember this you'll build your mid-career GPS one mile or one step at a time, and how you show up matters. Make it a great rest of your day. Thank you for listening to the Mid-Career GPS podcast. Make sure to follow on your favorite listening platform and, if you have a moment, I'd love to hear your comments on Apple podcasts. Visit johnnarrowcom for more information about how I can help you build your mid-career GPS or how I can help you in your organization with your next workshop or public speaking event. Don't forget to connect with me on LinkedIn and follow me on social at johnnarrow coaching. I look forward to being back with you next week. Until then, take care and remember how we show up matters. Thank you.

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