“Workers work hard enough to not be fired, and owners pay just enough so that workers won’t quit.”
― Robert T. Kiyosaki, Rich Dad, Poor Dad
We were in the province this past Wednesday to commemorate the death of my in-laws. Friends and family came to pay their respect and join us in remembering the life and times of the loved ones we lost on the that fateful night of December 17, 2012.
While we were there, one of my wife’s nieces approached me and asked for some career advice. According to her, she is on the brink of quitting for a number of reasons. She cited lack of appreciation, company policies, and culture as her primary reasons for considering the exit option.
I felt her pain and can identify with her situation because I’ve been in that same boat several times in my fifteen-year career. Unfortunately for her, she can’t afford to leave because she hasn’t found a new job to jump to.
I completely understand what she’s going through. She feels trapped and she can’t do anything about the situation even if deep inside, she couldn’t wait to quit if given the chance. We’ve all been there and it really sucks doesn’t it?
Whenever someone comes to me for advice on this kind of situation, I can’t help but remember this time when I saw a mice trapped in our kitchen sink. The sink was too deep and the poor rodent, as resilient as they may be, can’t jump or climb out of it no matter what it did.
What do we do in situations like this? How can we survive, and eventually get ourselves loose from this trap?
Be Smart and Don’t Let Your Emotions Get the Best of You
If you have a wife and kids to feed, you can’t afford to quit your job that easily. While it is important to be able to find happiness in what you do, you also have to weigh your priorities. You have to be smart about it too so don’t quit if you haven’t found a new job to transfer to no matter how long it takes. Even if you’re single, you need a steady income to sustain your needs and quitting without a replacement job is not a wise decision.
Seek for Opportunities in Another Department
If th company is treating you right and the only issues you have are against people in your current department or your boss, try to look for opportunities within the company. Look for openings in other departments and apply. If there aren’t openings, try to talk to human resources and ask for help in facilitating a transfer.
You don’t have to leave the company altogether. You just need to find a place where you can start fresh and reboot and you can still do that within the same company. I know because, I did it two years ago and so far, I think I made the right choice because I would have been a lot more miserable if I didn’t.
Send Applications Online
We are living at an age where information has never been easily accessible. We can now shop online, talk to our loved ones abroad face-to-face, and yes, even job application and interviews are now done online. When I was a fresh graduate, what we did was look for job openings in Sunday newspapers and walk in the following day. Imagine how today’s generation would accept that.
Just don’t do this while at work. Do it at home or during your break via an internet cafe or through your mobile phone. Don’t ever use company resources to further your career in another organization. You need to stay professional even if every piece of you doesn’t want to have anything to do with your current job anymore. Remember, they are still paying you money to do what they hired you for so keep your end of the bargain. Be patient.
Be Quiet and Keep Your Complaints to Yourself
When you’re pissed, you want others to know that you are pissed and it’s easy to just let it all out and tell everyone among your friends and peers how much you hate being there and that you can’t wait to say the words I QUIT. Don’t.
This is one of the mistakes I wish I can take back because people will view you as a negative person if won’t shut up about it. You don’t want to hear someone ask you “if it’s really that bad, why are you still here?”
If you want to get things off your chest, do it with someone who doesn’t work in the same company like a friend or a relative. You may not be getting what you expected but it’s not reason enough to be unethical.
Don’t Burn Bridges
We live in a small world and chances are, you will meet the same people you worked with in another company some two or three years from now and wouldn’t it be nice if you met on good terms without the awkward feeling?
When I left full-time teaching back n 2010, I made sure I left the school properly. I filed a formal resignation, followed the notice period they required me to serve and submitted all the required documents before I left. Most of all, I never said anything bad or negative about the company or my manager to anyone.
In 2012, the same school reached out to me and asked me if I wanted to do part-time teaching and it couldn’t have come at a perfect time. They never would have asked for my services again if I left on bad terms so if you are contemplating on leaving your job, make sure not to burn any bridge and leave on a positive note. Never say never.
If it’s really taking long for you to find a job, it’s okay. Whenever you feel miserable and grumpy about the whole thing, just think of the people who weren’t as lucky as you to have a job of their own. It is true that gratitude trumps grumptitude and it does all the time even in other life situations.
You’re still lucky to have a job that puts food in your table. You are still lucky to have a job that pays for your medical bills when someone in the family gets sick so even if you’re not happy there anymore, be thankful still. You wouldn’t be having that job in the first place if the company didn’t believe in you and what you can do. At the end of the day, they still gave you an opportunity.
Over to You
Have you also been trapped in a job you didn’t like? What did you do?
I would love to hear from you so please leave a comment or feedback below.
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