Who Else Wants to Quit Their Crappy Job? - Part 2
And what are your options after you do....(continued from 2019)
I wrote an article on March 27th of 2019 with the same title (Part 1) which got a lot of attention, like more than 76,000 views. "Crappy jobs" have been a pain point for so many for way too long.
Although the title sounded provocative, it had some realistic questions one can ask himself/herself. It did not tell people to simply quit.
That was before the pandemic! When people were simply too busy to reflect back on their work or what work means to them.
After spending 2 years in a global pandemic, the question is even more relevant now. Millions have already left their jobs, crappy or not. So no surprise here. Even the attention this title got was a small indication that it cannot go on like this.
We find ourselves in a unique place now where 2/3rds of US employees had time to reflect on their purpose in life (according to several McKinsey studies). I wish we never have to face anything this big to ask the most important questions, but we are human. (I wrote another article this year about why people are leaving.)
Chances are, when we have time to ask deeper questions about life and work, more people find their jobs to be “crappy”.
This reflection is actually like an annual check-up.
We have annual check-ups for physical health; why not for work and life in general? It is truly preventive care.
Do I use my strengths at work?
Do I find meaning in what I do?
Do I love my Mondays or constantly wait for Fridays?
Does work give me a chance to grow?
Would I want my children to be working at the same organization?
Does work make me energized or burned out?
and so many more questions I have acquired over the years working with hundreds of professionals and learning about psychology behind fulfillment at work.
This kind of check-up is closely related to physical check-ups. As Everybody Matters book from Bob Chapman and Raj Sisodia says “your supervisor has more influence on your health than your primary doctor”. Also Jeffrey Pfeffer talk about the health issues we all face in numbers in his book Dying for a Paycheck. Work is definitely a big factor determining how healthy we are. So this annual annual check up is certainly preventive.
Pandemic hit us all even if it is in varying degrees . When we never took the time to do these annual check-ups, nature found a way to force us. So now we are taking a chance.
So what do we do now?
First, we need to take inventory of the responses we give to questions above. We have to stay real and honest. Even if we are not able make the necessary moves right away, we cannot turn a blind eye any more.
Many studies and research done during the pandemic and before show we are looking for more purpose at work. Purpose has been my main focus for two decades now but thanks to science, we now know even more how much of a big part it plays in our lives and our long term happiness.
There is no denial anymore. We cannot continue with the same system we created 150 years ago. Not sustainable in terms of our heath; not sustainable with the complex world problems we face at work and in the world.
Second, we have to take that deeper, inner journey. We need to connect to our essence first. Who are we without our titles and identities we built along the way? What are our talents, gifts, what keeps us in the flow, what kind of work energizes me? ( I have several blogs and videos on that over the years.)
After that we can make a better decision on the path to take.
Third and most important is to look into our options on that path. Which one is the best for me and my situation right now? There are basically 4 paths:
Find meaning in the work we already do (it is possible!)
Change our job or career (find out more, grass is always greener at the other side)
Start our own gig/business (there is so much to think and plan here; having quit my job and starting my business I know all the mechanical and emotional journey here)
Volunteer -find unpaid work (a cause close to your heart)
This is possible for all of us. It is not reserved for only the fortunate. If we check all these different paths we can take and make a decision, pursue it, then we don’t feel lost. While we leave something we don’t enjoy behind, it is also possible to feel we don’t know our next step.
The world of work is changing and we are all part of it. Let’s keep the awakening that happened in the last two years take us to a better place in our journey.
Also published at LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/who-else-wants-quit-crappy-job-part-2-ozlem-brooke-erol/