Last week I shared with subscribers that over the past few months, several clients have left their jobs.
Leaving your job is something a lot of career homeless people fantasize about, even if they don’t know what they would do instead. It seems kind of magical, but also intimidating. Not knowing what would come next can keep you idling in a stalled career for years.
You’d think that people with decent jobs wouldn’t struggle with this so much. But oftentimes, they’re the ones that have the most difficult time deciding if they should stay or go. Things are just good enough that they are hesitant to bail.
Last week a reader asked,
“Did any of [your clients] leave a job that was good (good enough, good pay, good people, one they could tolerate but didn’t LOVE)? How did [they] generate the guts to leave ‘good’??”
So I floated this question to the private Facebook group where my clients hang out. Here was one response from a client who recently left her job to start her own business:
“I left ‘good’ because it didn’t ‘feel’ good anymore. I knew I was going to leave eventually to follow what I had discovered to be my true path. I left earlier [than I could have] because I realized I was putting undue pressure on myself to have a really ‘good’ reason to leave. The job wasn’t serving me anymore although I was serving it.”
“Good” doesn’t always feel good. Sometimes “good” isn’t good enough.
- Have you ever ended a relationship that was “good,” but not good enough to stay for?
- Ever passed on a “good” apartment or house because it’s not quite what you had in mind?
- Have you ever read the reviews for a critically acclaimed movie, but still had no interest in seeing it?
Most of us pass on “good” at some point, at some other areas in our lives. We recognize that just because something is objectively good doesn’t mean that it’s good for us.
Then why is it so hard for us to reject “good” when it comes to our work?
Here’s what I see it come down to for most people:
1. You’re afraid that if you go for something better, you’ll lose the good you have. 2. You don’t believe that something better is possible.
It’s #2 that really breaks my heart, because it’s absolutely a case of your thoughts limiting your potential to contribute and in a way that feels good and be rewarded for work that comes naturally to you.
Most people are so firm in their belief that how things are is how they have to be, that they won’t work towards change. Why would they? They don’t think it’s possible. And that’s why most people will spend their work lives clocking in to build someone else’s dream.
Don’t be most people.
Be one of the ones who see other possibilities. I’m not asking you to prance through life with rose-colored glasses; I’m asking you to be realistic. Know what’s real? Your ability to find purpose-driven work. But only once you believe it is.