What is it that finally makes us leave? To make the decision to go, to take the redundancy package and not look for a new job, or never to return after an absence?
What crystalises our thinking to make such a decision that will affect our lives, our livelihoods and reshape our view of who we are and what’s important to us?Based on my research it is more likely to be a slow burn of questioning what else they could do, and then a realisation that the time is now, or it will never happen. An internal reckoning that there is more to life than this, that I am worth more than this and what I have been thinking of doing is preferable than staying here. The perceived benefits of leaving definitely outweigh staying. So they leave.
Frustration, anger, stress, disappointment and feeling constrained by the norms of corporate life. Emotions build up and the most obvious choice is to leave. To take control of your destiny, to create a legacy and directly feel the impact you can make. Ultimately you find yourself spending more time at work wishing you weren’t there than actually working. Your attention is piqued by the stories of other women who have crossed over and succeeded and you wonder more and more what it would be like to do the same.
Take control of your destiny, create a legacy and directly feel the impact you can make.
For Laura Bergerson, Founder and CEO of Bergerson Group it was a slow burn and then a realisation that she didn’t have to tolerate it anymore. Her insight came when she realised that others would pay her for the same work. “I worked in Cisco’s channels organisation for about six years and I was becoming very unhappy in my job. It didn’t matter how much pay they gave me, how much freedom they gave me or whatever they offered me. The culture within the company was so competitive, and it was an uphill battle. I would lay in bed at night and think about what happened at work that day. One day I decided I’ve had enough and I’m going to go out and do this on my own. I thought Cisco pay me money to do this, probably other people will pay me money to do this too.”
Redundancy can also bring that slow burn to a head. They may have been frustrated for a while and retrenchment can free them. As one respondent comments; “Although I loved the job I did, I took voluntary redundancy. I was fed up with the politics and the constant reinventing of the wheel within the company.”
For some, the smoldering dissatisfaction can lead to a spark, igniting the conversation that leads to the quitting their job. It’s as if another political fight, overseas flight or insensitive comment pushes them over the edge, turns into a bolt of energy and they make the decision to leave!
It is a catalytic moment
Sometimes a catalytic moment can also be triggered by an external event. A Corporate Crossover who had been working in PR recounts her experience; “I had been thinking to do something else for a while. The crunch moment came for me the Monday after the Bali bombings in 2002. Working in PR we had planned to launch a press release that day about the launch of a new chocolate variety in a well-known chocolate range. I knew that the timing was not appropriate as the world’s media was all focused on the bombings and that getting coverage of a new chocolate variant would be slim. I rang my client early that morning and shared with her my recommendation to delay the launch. She disagreed. She couldn’t understand my point of view. That day I realised I wanted to quit PR and do something more meaningful to me.”
Whatever your reason for finally deciding to leave your job, only you will know if it’s the right time. Whether its something that has been bubbling inside of you for a while or a snap decision, if it feels right then it usually is.
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