I got a call this week from a recent college grad. This grad started a new job about four months ago, and it was miserable. I could hear it in their voice, just like the woman at the post office I wrote about last week.
They are crying every day. The manager yells regularly. Underpaid. This list went on and on until finally, I had to interrupt.
“Why don’t you quit?” I asked.
The look on their face told me that I had either confused or offended them. The grad explained that the “rule” is that you have to stay a company for one year.
I can almost feel the collective moment of head-shaking happening as all of you who are well into your career remember that rule, and how you broke it.
But what I remember first is panic. The fear of wondering if I was making a career-ending mistake. It rang in my ears for years after an early manager threatened I would ruin my career if I left that job before 12 months.
The other memories that always flood back when I think about those jobs are just how bad it was. In some cases, it was my manager. In others, the commute. The salary. It’s like work PTSD.
Regardless of the why, I think we all know this: most of us don’t quit jobs lightly. We leave because we’re miserable and we don’t see a way out. Because we crave change in our lives.
And I’m here to remind you that’s enough. No clock will tell you that you tried hard enough at a job that makes you miserable. As you go through your career, you’ll only meet more people with similar experiences. Thousands of us have leaped (you should see the responses I got to this on Twitter
) and here’s the big reveal…
Nothing bad happened. People found better jobs that made them happy. The people who stayed just had regrets. So whether it’s your hope for change or faux tenure rules that stop you from looking? Don’t. Life is too short.
I am not suggesting that you quit with nothing else lined up. I’m saying figure out your game plane. Just because you accepted a role doesn’t mean you should make it into a soul-sucking career. I’m happy to help in any way I can.
Speaking of careers, I wrote this week about how loving your job will leave an impression on your children. I’m also sharing interview questions that might help you in the job search or at work. Finally, a plug for my next online class on September 4th. I will teach you the signature Three Ears technique for writing emails that get candidates to respond.
Have a great weekend and I mean it, I’m here to help -
CEO, Three Ears Media