Don't Quit

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It’s the end of the year and you’re feeling stressed.
You’re fed up, and you need a break.
And it happens every year!

I know exactly how you feel.
I have two young daughters in Year 6 and 3. For the past couple of weeks when Sunday evening comes around I get the same question: “Do I have to go to school tomorrow?

A friend of mine posed a similar question to me over the weekend.

“I’m over the culture at work. I’m stressed out and I’m thinking of leaving. What do you suggest I do?”

My response was this: “Don’t quit.
“You know what you don’t want, but you don't know what you do want.
If you quit now, the chances are you’ll walk into a very similar job situation – same stress levels, different group of people.”

“The thing that’s missing is clarity. Once you get clear on what you do want, you can start working towards achieving that job, or your own business, or that new opportunity. But if you don’t know what you want, you end up drifting back into the same situation that you want to get out of right now.”

If you find yourself wanting to quit now - 4 weeks out from the end of the year, you’re not alone. The important thing to do is separate the stress of a tough job (which many people have), with that empty feeling some people get when they are not doing the job they are ‘supposed’ to be doing - a job that inspires them.

My advice is to take some time off to consider what you really want to do with your working time.  There’s always some time available over the Christmas period to do this (unless you work for Scrooge & Co.), even if you only allocate a couple of hours.

Here are 7 questions to ask yourself:

1. On a scale of 0-10, how much do I want to change my work situation?

2. In an ideal world what work would I do?

3. What would be my role and responsibility?

4. What would I do in this area to change the way things are done?

5. Who do I know who knows someone in this area?
- Write down at least three names

6. What are three questions I would ask these people?

7. When am I going to contact the people on my list and ask my questions?
- Set a date and a time when you’ll call them.

And of course it’s no good asking yourself these questions when you’re feeling stressed. You have to be relaxed and in a creative / positive frame of mind.

I recommend a mindfulness exercise, as alcohol can cloud your thinking, and can actually make you more stressed.

If you’d like a simple exercise to help, please contact me here.

 

Justin Cooper