I just got a GREAT email from JMatt, a reader who, in the process of writing to me, solved his own problem. In effect, as he was telling me about his situation, the truth popped out right in front of his eyes. He wasn’t even thinking of quitting … but there it was!
Here is part of what he wrote me:
“I work constantly. I mean every single day of the year I am on call. Even when I’m on vacation I need to keep my phone with me in case of emergency. I am consumed almost every waking moment with work related issues and it is driving me nuts. My personal life feels like it’s a shambles, and my health is deteriorating..
Wow. In typing this I think I just came to the conclusion that I must quit and find a new job. It is obvious.”
I love this! Whether you are a boss like JMatt or an employee like most of the rest of us, so often what we actually need is to be able to really hear ourselves. Especially if you’re thinking of quitting.
Deep inside, most of you know what you truly want. But sometimes, we spend day after day convincing ourselves that, even though we’re miserable, there are plenty of good reasons to stay miserable. And so we just grin and bear it.
I don’t buy that.
That doesn’t mean every single one of you should rush right out and quit your jobs. I couldn’t handle the guilt of what this would do to the economy! 🙂 Plus, there are sometimes very real things you can try to help make work life better for yourself.
Basically you have two choices if you’re thinking of quitting: change your job conditions and / or way you handle things as best you can, or go get a new job. Suffering year in and year out, feeling trapped and helpless, isn’t good for you or your employer — although it might make your health providers a tidy sum.
So … following in JMatt’s footsteps … if you are miserable in YOUR job, you might want to try writing yourself a letter. Don’t stop to think or edit. Just keep writing. Let it all pour out. And don’t force yourself to get it all figured out in one day. For the majority of us, it takes time.
Keep writing yourself letters for the next few weeks. Or as long as needed. And see what pops out. By the time you’re done, you may see your best next move more clearly. I hope so.
[Post updated in 2020]
About the author…
Ronnie Ann, founder of Work To the Wise and Work Coach Cafe, bases her real-world advice on her many years as an organizational consultant where she helped interview and hire people, added to a certificate from NYU in Career Planning & Development, as well as her many adventures as a serial job seeker.
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And if you do need to quit your job