Like all big decisions, a job change or career shift requires tact and integrity. But by the time people are ready to leave a job they have disliked for a long time, they don’t always do it gracefully. The time spent gathering negative evidence about the job (difficult boss, crazy schedule, etc) has inevitably worsened the situation and impacted their work productivity, their relationships, and their self worth.
It’s hard to put your best foot forward when you mentally build a case for why you don’t want to be there every day. You get trapped in an insidious cycle of diminishing returns that makes the job harder (and you unhappier) until crashing and burning seems like an unavoidable next step.
Sound like your story?
There’s a way to quit your job so that you walk out the front door instead of slinking out the back.
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The following exercises will help you shift your thinking so that your exit strategy can become a powerful experience rather than a slow motion trainwreck.
- Be the star of your current workplace. Even if you think it’ll kill you! Show up on time every day for a month, complete your tasks, adopt a positive attitude, don’t gossip, and don’t complain to anyone. You can make it a game: what would you have to do in order for them to BEG you to stay? Now, do that and watch what a difference it makes, for you and for others. It won’t just build your integrity and make you feel better, but it will set a precedent for the future. Remember, no one ever got hired for their dream job by slacking off on their last one.
- Lay out your battle plan. This is an empowering writing exercise for anyone who feels trapped in their “lame” jobs. Write out your “If I stayed” plan and visit the facts: what would the next 6 months look like, financially, emotionally? Is there room for growth where you are? Next up, write your “If I left” plan with the same measures. What would change? What would your goals look like? Think of Alexander the Great standing above his maps, contemplating the movements of his army. Be bold and honest about the options in front of you.
- Dream your dream. If you’ve had a “dream career” in mind, demand of yourself to bring it to the forefront now. In another writing exercise, craft the vision of your dream career. There is an art to this, and practicing it is wonderfully rewarding. Write it in the present tense, and go into detail. The minute you start writing a dream, it becomes possible. Post it on the fridge and tell everyone about it. Read it every day and connect with it.
Essentially, this work is meant to refocus you on what you really want – a job where you are inspired and engaged – instead of what you don’t want. And although these exercises will require your time and attention, you owe it to yourself to take careful consideration when thinking and dreaming about your next career move.
Don’t wait until your next opportunity comes knocking to start preparing yourself for it.
The world needs more happy, fulfilled working humans … and you deserve to be one of them.
P.S. Learn to Human Better with Inner.U, our online coaching course that gives you the tools to do this life thing a little better. Inner.U is 12 virtual sessions with Lauren Zander which includes 1 free private coaching session with an HG coach, a Promise Tracker, and a Buddy System to keep you accountable. You in?