Does this sound familiar? You are hyperactive and mighty on your first year, and then you plummet like a roller coaster by the time you hit your fifth year. You were one of the high-flyers in the company, but these days you’re not giving your best. You’ve lost the spark, the passion, and the flame – you finally want to quit.
This is part two of the article. To read part 1, click here.
You're not enjoying the company of your team
Many of us will stay in a company despite the not-so-good pay and the two-hour commute because they enjoy the company of their colleagues. "Welcome Jonathan to the family!" said the glossy neon banner posted on my cubicle on my first day at work.
I still remember that special day when I first knew that I was in the right company of people. Unfortunately, not all of us will be blessed with this fate. Some of us will confront a phase in our corporate careers when we "just don't fit in." I usually give myself 6 months to determine if I’m with the right bunch of folks.
During my first 90 days, I join every opportunity to get to know people: those company parties, those sports fests, and those "HR needs volunteers" moments. But there will be times when no matter how hard your heart is willing to beat, the people around don’t in the same way. They don’t laugh at your jokes, they don’t invite you for lunch, and they disappointingly find How To Get Away With Murder boring (how could they, right?!).
You will naturally feel bad about rejection but don’t ever feel that it’s all about you. There will be organizations in this lifetime that weren’t meant for you – and this makes you unique.
You don’t owe them your personal reasons, but you have all the right to leave—and be happy in the company of people who truly care about you. It is these during these glorious moments of realizing what you don’t like when you finally appreciate the things that you truly like. Do you ever wonder why some employees quit their jobs and go back to their former companies? The answer is because they’ve realized the same thing.
You can't seem to respect or look up to your boss
Most people quit their bosses, not their jobs. Research published by Gallup Poll in 2011 showed that majority of people leave their jobs because they can’t manage the relationship with their boss and not the demands of their job. Motivation is a key driver to stay committed to your job—and your boss is partly responsible for this. He should know how to inspire you (or remind you of your inspirations) to get things done. Ever wondered why many folks hire a personal trainer? It’s not just because they need an instructor to tell them what to do, but because they need someone to push and pressure them when the Force isn’t strong enough to get them to head to the gym.
During those stressful moments when you hate your job, you should be gritty enough to push because either you want to impress your boss or because you believe that he’s stretching you to become the next superstar. You know that your interest is in good hands because it is in his hands. We all need a boss that will make us whisper to ourselves, “I want to become like you.”
Ask yourself: do you want to become like your boss too (or become an even better version of him)? Do you aspire to manage that bigger scope of work that he is currently handling? Do you think you will get along with him well in the next 12 or 24 months?
If you answered no, you might want to get transferred to another team or organization because sooner or later he will likely be the reason that you will leave the company. And you will likely leave because you know that you deserve someone better.
A word of caution though: you should quit your boss if you don’t believe in his or her leadership and management philosophy, but you might want to think twice if your boss is just stretching you to the extreme.
I’ve had bosses who were worse than Miranda Priestley or Cruella de Vil but I learned a lot from them and stayed longer, because I knew that nothing could replace the skills and talent they transferred to me.
Don’t quit a tough boss who polishes you painfully like a rough diamond. You might be thankful years later when you look back.
At the end of the day
Quitting is a good thing when the time and reasons are right. Most folks hesitate to quit because of fear of losing or the stigma of giving up.
But remember that there’s also an upside to quitting: the faster you make the right decision to move out, the lesser opportunity cost you incur for joining a new company that fits you well, and one that can truly set you up for success.
Finally, before you hand down that resignation letter, do note that it is also your responsibility to exhaust all solutions first in the most objective way. Good luck in your next step!