89. Don't quit your job: 5 strategies to manage your current awful job while you look for another.
Why I believe you should avoid quitting your job.
If you have been thinking of quitting your job, you may have come across articles, podcast episodes, or YouTube videos where a coach tells you that you need to leave your job right away. This makes me angry.
I don't like this sales technique used by coaches to lure you into thinking that you need to quit your job and find another job and hopefully hire them for help. It is a very dangerous strategy for the job seeker, especially during a pandemic when the job market is volatile.
If you are ready to get another job, I understand. There are ways of moving from one job to another that don’t compromise your ability to pay the bills. As stressful as you may be with work, having no money may not be the best answer to your problems.
Here are the five common reasons why people want to quit their jobs and my strategies to manage them while you look for a better role:
1. You are struggling physically and mentally, and you no longer enjoy your job.
If you are struggling mentally and physically, I hear you. I completely understand because I have experienced this before. So what should you do in this situation? Take time off. Take a personal leave or annual leave before you do anything else. You can slow down at work and find a doctor, mentor, coach, or counselor to support you. It’s easier to afford this level of support if you have a paycheck.
2. You have a horrible boss.
There are lots of horrible bosses out there. I have experienced this myself, more than once! However, I completely understand that working for some bosses can be detrimental to your mental health and wellbeing. Sometimes it’s better the devil you know.
I highly recommend that you read the ‘No Asshole Rule’ book by Stanford professor Robert Sutton. It's a funny title, but it's serious. It’s also an easy read, and it has a chapter for each type of asshole. Your boss could be one of those. The chapters give you different techniques and strategies that you can use to manage your situation until you find another job and move on.
3. The work culture is toxic.
I have another reading recommendation, but this one is freely available. It's the Netflix corporate manifesto, a well-known slide-deck and 10-page document that explains the company’s values, including communication, selflessness, and integrity. It also explains why one would find themselves on the chopping board. It is the most honest corporate writing I’ve seen about why people get fired, why companies change direction, and organizations are constantly changing and evolving.
Although the company you work for may not have this openness about the issues they face, the Netflix manifesto may help you understand the decisions made at the top level. But still, the structure needs to change because organizations are like significant organisms, and everybody inside it has to shift and adapt over time. What you experience as a toxic culture may be organization shifting and adjusting without the exemplary leadership and communication tools to do it right for the employees.
I’m hoping that by reading this document, you may find yourself taking a step back and trying to understand what's happening with your workplace before you make any big decisions about leaving. It could be that you can be an agent to help make the culture better. Regardless, always make sure that you are not making the culture more toxic.
4. Someone is asking you to break the law.
If this happens, seek internal support: your boss, your boss's boss, HR, or occupational health and safety. However, I'm assuming that if this is a real problem for you, you haven't found internal support to back you up and take you out of a challenging situation. In that case, you may need to seek legal advice.
I want you to be very careful. Don't do whatever it is that you feel unsafe or unlawful. Instead, seek legal advice straight away and get the support that you need. It may be that you can contact a union representative. You can always book a time to talk to me, and we can brainstorm solutions. If you go to my services page, you will see that I’m always open for urgent consultations for this reason. And from time to time, I have at times referred clients to get legal advice.
5. Your life is at risk.
If you believe your life is being threatened, go to the police. By resigning, you're losing your income. However, by going to the police, you are taking real action to protect your life. I have done this in the past. Listen to the podcast episode 88 to know more about the details of my experience with this.
Do not spend all your energy doing your awful job.
While you are working in a job you hate, do not give it your all and spend all your energy and time on it. Chances are, your effort will not help you get a promotion, get more recognition, or make things better in any way. You may need to come to terms that you may not be able to turn things around, especially if you don’t like it. You're just going to be getting more stressed and overwhelmed with your situation.
Therefore, make sure you first carve out time for yourself. Use that time to work on your career plans. At work, make sure you are delivering on the priority tasks, but don’t overdo it. Remember to love yourself first and allow yourself to invest in your future.
When is it ok to quit your job?
Here are my guiding questions to help clients take a leap into the unknown in a safe way that allows them to land on their feet:
Do you have enough money in the bank to support you for longer than you think you need?
Do you have a safe and secure place to go while you look for work?
Do you have a great support system of friends and family that will have your back?
If you answer yes to all these questions, then you have my blessing to quit your terrible job and take a break :)
Staying in an awful job is not easy, I know! But quitting without thinking of the implications of your decision can be even more stressful.
I hope that the strategies I’ve given you can help you manage your current situation while helping you find a much better opportunity that is aligned with your dreams and your preferred future.
If you need further help, remember that I have a suite of services to help you today. Go to my website to find out more. The Reset Your Career workshop & action plan was designed around my coaching philosophy of always enabling them to achieve more while minimizing risks.
Or, if you would like to learn more about my coaching program, book a quick call for us to have a chat.
Podcast Episode Timestamps:
- 05:07 - What if you're struggling mentally and physically and no longer enjoying your job?
- 08:34 - What if you have a horrible boss?
- 10:11 - What if the work culture is toxic?
- 12:24 - What if the company is asking you to break the law?
- 14:03 - What if your life is at risk?
- 16:54 - When should you quit?
Links mentioned in this episode: