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“Shellye, I’m quitting. I just can’t take it anymore.” When I hear these words from people, my initial reaction is to investigate. I’ll first ask questions to make sure there isn’t abusive behavior, integrity issues, or company misconduct.
If not, then I try to determine what the individual is running away from. It is much better to run to a new opportunity, rather than leave because you are running from a situation that you might be able to change.
The man who proclaimed that he was quitting was frustrated that, despite his strong performance, he felt he wasn’t getting paid what he was worth given how much responsibility he had. After some initial questioning on my part, it became clear that he liked the company and his job. When I asked him if he would stay if he was paid more, he said yes.
“Then don’t run away before you’ve truly tried to increase your pay.” Turns out, he hadn’t had a direct conversation with his boss. He had hinted at it and made general requests, but that’s not good enough. Once he went back and made a compelling case, he got his raise and earned a promotion not too long after.
A young woman was ready to quit because she didn’t like her boss. She liked the work and the industry. So instead of quitting, she put her effort in changing bosses. She ultimately made a lateral move and was much happier.
When interesting opportunities arise with more responsibility, etc… definitely consider them, and compare them to what you have and your current trajectory. It’s fine to leave for a role that’s significantly superior. Just don’t leave for something that isn’t, because you are running from a situation where you are.
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