“The Great Resignation” has been going on for a while now, with people quitting jobs they don’t like, and moving to something else, somewhere else. Sometimes people change jobs for more money, better flexibility, a specific culture, or better growth opportunity. If you’re thinking of leaving, you are probably crystal clear on what you want to be different at the next job. Before you drop your resignation letter and move on, what will YOU do differently when you show up at the next job?
Certain aspects of a job can be frustrating…be it the pay, the shifting priorities, managers who can be jerks…the list is probably endless.
If we see something in our current role that we don’t like, or that isn’t working, part of our responsibility as an employee is to speak up about it. If it’s serious enough that you’re willing to quit, it’s worth talking about and doing something about before leaving.
Time For Some Real Talk
Before people start with comments like “you’re out of touch” or “that’s a fairy tale…anyone who challenges my boss gets tossed in a volcano” (or other ridiculous story, which is just an excuse for avoiding it), consider this: if you’re dissatisfied enough to start looking for a new job, what do you lose by speaking up? You’re already willing to head out the door.
Do an honest gut check.
Maybe you’re scared to challenge your manager.
Maybe you aren’t sure how to have that conversation.
Both make a lot of sense and are situations we encounter with leaders, even C-suite leaders, every single day. If you’re making excuses like “they never listen”, “we’ve already had four people leave and nothing’s changed”, or “it wouldn’t fix anything”, you’re letting your fear take over.
I’m sure this will seem insensitive, and that isn’t my purpose. My goal is to challenge people to be more honest with themselves, to dig deeper into HOW they show up at work to support themselves. You are the first and primary person who benefits from this.
Bringing It Full Circle
The reason I bring this up in the context of changing jobs is three-fold:
- You may be in a job that you mostly like, though certain aspects are real problems, and you think leaving will fix them.
- That shiny new job will almost certainly have characteristics you don’t like, and you won’t know until you are already there.
- This is the most important reason…if you aren’t having difficult conversations now, you’re likely to recreate the same situation at your next job.
As you review options and consider what to do, remember that you have lots of choices…probably far more than you realize. I highly encourage you to get help with having difficult conversations. There are a lot of good options out there.
Many of the leaders we work with say that the most important thing they learned to do was to speak up for themselves, especially with their managers. So many people aren’t comfortable with challenging their manager, and feel trapped in their position. We get it.
Whatever resource you start with, give yourself some grace. The first time will be a little messy, and you’ll make progress, getting better each time. And most importantly, you won’t be tossed into a volcano. 😊