The Biggest Reason You Should Leave Your Job

by: Joanne Meehl

Of course, I'm a big fan of hope. It's what keeps us going as humans, even in our darkest hours.

But sometimes hope gets in the way. Such as when you hope your current employer changes their salary structure. And you hope your manager stops micromanaging you. And you hope the company would just be more ethical, or more innovative, or more expansive, or more serious about your career development.

When you realize that none of those Big Things About the Company is going to change, you have a choice: either continue to hope they change, or leave. Now this is often where clients say "But I've never been a quitter; I don't want to leave the company in case things really do change."

Quitter?! I'd argue you are already giving up if you're sticking it out waiting with hope that things there will change -- and in doing so you've given the company more credit than you've given yourself.

Yes, companies can change course, but my experience is that too often candidates would rather hope than see the reality, and would rather stick it out than launch a job search. Meanwhile, what they're becoming blind to as they are hoping, are the changes in their field that demand they pay better attention to their own career. For example, in the 80s and 90s, too many New Englanders hoped that Digital (DEC) would turn it around, and while hoping, their own skills began to stagnate. Eventually DEC was bought by Compaq, then Compaq by Hewlett Packard, with massive layoffs each step of the way.

Result: all those "hoping" people had skills that pertained only to DEC. Few other companies needed those skills.

And that's the biggest reason for leaving your company: Don't stay if your skills are stagnating. This is a career killer!

Don't let this happen to you. Leave.

So I say "Sure, hope for it", but make it more about yourself and what you want for you and your family. It's OK to be selfish in that way -- that's a good selfish. A good reason for thinking ahead, and for launching a search.

Besides: In your one life, who will take care of you if you don't?


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