They often say that people don’t quit their jobs, they quit because of their managers. This concept stayed with me for about 18 months and was something that actually kept me in my role for a lot longer, purely for the fact that I didn’t want my manager to think I was quitting because of them.
Sometimes, managers are supportive, motivating, trusting, and empowering but work still isn’t right. What happens when the people you work with are one of the only things that is keeping you in your role, but the work isn’t something you see yourself doing for the next 20 years?
I have recently gone through this and it was probably one of the most anxiety-promoting processes that I have endured.
Fact of the matter is, if you have a great relationship with your employer and colleagues that you consider them friends, they should still remain friends even if you decide to leave the organisation.
Here are a few things to consider:
Understand what you want:
Before you start looking for a new role you need to take time to actually quantify what you want in your next position, career and what you are lacking in your current position that is making you want to look in the first place.
Not only a new position but benefits or working arrangements that go along with that. Do you need flexible hours, remote working, hands on management, ongoing training? Analyse your current situation and what you feel you are missing or what you need to succeed in a new position.
I find that having a 5 – 10 year plan or fully understanding the area that you want your career to develop in helps you work backwards and look at stepping stones or organisations that can help get you there. If you want to end up as a Human Resources Director, taking a role in Customer Service might not necessarily be the most strategic move. Work backwards from this and take the first step towards your long-term goal.
Can you current organisation give you that?
Once you understand what you want and what it is you are looking for, look within your current organisation and see if they could offer you this progression or step in the right direction. If you really enjoy the environment you work and your organisation as a whole, you have nothing to lose by looking within the company prior to looking elsewhere.
Speak with you manager and be open and honest about the fact that you are looking and what you are lacking in your current role. If you are a valued member of staff and have a lot to offer roles can be created or additional responsibilities could be provided to help you feel more satisfied in your role.
This would depend on the sort of relationship you have with your employer and make sure you approach this in the right way. By coming to your manager first, they have the opportunity to try to keep you within the company but also approach with caution, if they aren’t a good mentor or manager, knowing that you are looking elsewhere could be detrimental. You will need to make this decision based on your relationship.
Does what you are looking for exist?
We all want roles that pay us $200k a year with flexible and remote working arrangements, fast career development, training and development, bring your dog to work policies, extra paid days off, new car, and free food but in reality, these probably don’t exist.
I would advise to have a think about your non-negotiables, preferable’s and bonuses and look for organisations or roles that are in line with these points.
How do you know if what you are looking for exists? Network and connect with people who are in the roles that you aspire to be. Speak with recruiters who specialise in the area and get an understanding of the clients that they work with or market trends they have found, previous candidates they have placed and advice around how you should approach your job search. They might even be able to help you with the process or have suitable clients they can speak with about your background. Speaking with people who are knowledgeable and experts in the industry will never hurt, so what do you have to lose?
Lastly, make sure you are leaving for the right reasons and you have a clear picture of where you want to go. If you are looking for the sake of leaving or because you feel stale and take the next opportunity that comes available, you will find yourself in the same position in 6 – 12 months’ time. Everyone goes through ebb’s and flows of their work, no matter how much you love your position and company so take the time to ascertain whether it’s just a down period and if not, make a strategic plan for your next move.