Congratulations! You finally made the decision to leave a job that makes you miserable. Even if you don’t have another job waiting, you selected the date to give notice, you wrote the resignation letter, and you have a meeting with your boss scheduled. Then something happens… FEAR jumps up and gives you a bear hug that just about squeezes the resolve out of you. P-A-N-I-C time!
Does this sound familiar? Like something from a nightmare? Does reading this send shivers down your spine or make your heart pound in your chest? Well, I know this feeling and know that it can make you choose to stay in a workplace that is stressful, overwhelming, depressing, and toxic. However, I also know that all it takes to reinvent one’s self is self-scrutiny, time, and courage.
Here are three things to consider before you take the leap.
1. Take a personal inventory
Working in a toxic environment for any length of time can really cause your self-esteem and sense of worth to take a hit. That’s why it’s important to review your skills and abilities. Recall the successes you’ve had in your current and past roles. Ask trusted colleagues and associates to identify some of your top professional strengths. You should also consider taking a couple of career interest, ability, or work values assessments. Before you can successfully land a new job (or figure out a freelance gig), you have to believe in yourself again.
2. Evaluate your resources
Let’s face it. Most of us work for a living because we need money to fund our lives. So, the idea of walking away from a guaranteed paycheck can be tough to swallow. Not to mention the impact on your ability to pay the mortgage or the rent and continue to feed yourself. Therefore, take stock of your resources and determine whether or not you have the financial reserves to leave immediately. You can get support from a partner, family, or close friend while you take the time to reinvent yourself.
3. Stop being so hard on yourself
If you’ve tried your best to make a tough situation work for you, but you still come asking yourself, “what’s wrong with me?”, you may be asking the wrong question. In many cases, it’s not about you. It’s a problem with your organization, its culture, or its management. It may take time, but with some creative thinking, you can find a workplace that will appreciate your time, energy, and unique talents.
30+ years of being in the workplace have taught me that there ARE times when the situation has very little to do with your ability to cope, adapt, or be flexible. Sometimes you can’t fix the problem, because it was broken long before you arrived. The sane response to your insane environment is to plan your exit. You spend too much time at work to be miserable. Be courageous and find the place in which your gifts will be not only recognized but celebrated. You are worthy; you owe it to yourself to craft a life you love to live.
If you're interested in customizing this strategy for your specific career, give me a call to schedule a free 20-minute consultation.