Author: Sallie Krawcheck
Most of us don’t consider ourselves to be quitters. But there are times in your career when it’s time to move on….or be moved on….or stagnate. Here are 5 signs that it was probably time to pack up my bags in a couple of my jobs (but that I ignored):
I received diametrically opposed advice from senior people (who mattered) on how to do my job. One told me to “lead, not manage;” another to “manage, not lead.” The net of this was that there was no clear understanding of what success in the job – or even the means by which to get there – looked like. If you feel like you can’t win, you can’t win.
I started watching movies on long airplane flights. Nothing wrong with this, mind you. Everyone needs a break to reboot. But since my very first job, I have seen long flights as a time for expanses of work and thought. I even looked forward to trips for exactly this reason. Once I started watching movies instead, it was clear that I was not as engaged in my job as I had been.
I thought – and rethought – every word that came of my mouth. How would this sound? How would this be interpreted? Was this statement too far off the other views around the table? I’ve worked in cultures in which “no idea is a bad idea” and in ones in which you had to watch what you say. I am very over the term “authentic,” but if you can’t be “authentic” at your job, it’s time to look for another job.
My stomach hurt…..particularly on Sunday nights. Many people get the Sunday night blues on occasion, but too many of these gives you a lot of information about how you really feel about what you’re doing on Monday morning.
I wasn’t laughing. I don’t know about you, but I love a good belly laugh….the kind where you laugh so hard you gasp for air. Yes, I know “work is called work for a reason,” but in most of my jobs, I’ve had a comfort level that we could have the occasional “laugh until you cry” moment. When that’s gone, it’s a key signal.
This doesn’t mean that you should walk directly into your boss’ office and quit. But signals like these (and your signals may be very different from mine) may well mean that you are in a job – or a company or an industry – that doesn’t fit quite right. At the very least, it means that it’s worth a significant rethink to try to address the core issues.