Today I want to talk about something I discovered after working with several clients who all shared the same obstacle, even though it wasn’t super clear at first what the obstacle was.
The obstacle that I’m talking about? They were afraid to quit their job.
I was working with one person and our goal, obviously, was to get them a new job. We had an offer, and we had negotiated the offer, and I was really excited for them to accept.
Then all of sudden things kind of came to a screeching halt for them.
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They got really nervous, and apprehensive, and they started second guessing themselves.
I’ve noticed this, now, as a pattern that even though it’s not the first fear that comes up for people when they think about their obstacles – that they’re afraid to quit – it’s something that really comes up throughout the job search process in more subtle ways.
The fear of quitting holds people back, even if they’re not aware of it.
People are afraid to leave their teams, where even if our coworkers are annoying, we at least know who they are already and we know what to expect.
We’re afraid to leave the comfort of a job that we know already. You might think you’re not ready for the next level.
Maybe you don’t want to have the really difficult conversation of actually quitting with your boss, whether it’s a boss that you like, or a boss that you don’t like.
We don’t want to bring the fear of quitting into the job search and I want to chat – proactively – about quitting and job transitions to help normalize the process for you.
Quitting is totally normal.
It might not feel normal to you for a whole range of reasons.
Maybe you’re a young professional and you haven’t quit yet. Maybe you have been in the same job for a really long time.
In the scope of the working world, people quit all the time.
It’s as normal as starting a new job. It’s like taking sick time. It’s like taking vacation time. It’s part of the work process.
You’re going to have to probably quit another job. It’s good to just take the reminder that transitioning from one job to another is normal.
It’s stressful, but it’s normal.
It’s also really important that you know that, when you have a job offer, that there’s an expectation on the other side of that offer that there will be a learning curve.
So if you’re feeling apprehensive like, “Oh. Can I really do this?” try to trust the job offer..
You can always have a follow-up conversation with the people who made the offer and talk more about, maybe, the pieces that are making your nervous. Ask about the training and support opportunities.
People know that when you leave one job for another, even if it’s in the same organization, you’ve got to get used to a new team, new systems and new processes.
They know when they hire you that they’re going to have to teach you some things.
It’s normal for you to be moving into a role that has more responsibility than you’ve had previously. You might shift your mindset into one that welcomes growth and support to prepare yourself.
Everyone has to make a kind of transition like this at one point or another.
What about your friends?
It’s also really important that you know that quitting doesn’t mean the end of relationships that are really working for you in your work situation.
It’s a great opportunity for you to reconnect as you’re leaving, to get people’s personal contact information, or to send them quarterly emails, to spend time with them outside of work as friends (assuming that’s what you want).
You can totally maintain these relationships..
Just because you are leaving and exploring new opportunities, it doesn’t mean you have to stop being friends with the people that you actually like at work.
Don’t forget: you deserve a challenging and interesting opportunity.
It’s easy to want to be challenged when you’re bored at work. Then suddenly, the opportunity to actually learn something new and be fully engaged in a new job comes along and it can feel really intimidating (even if that’s exactly what we want).
Remember, this is why you started the job search process to begin with.
I hope these tips make the actual idea of a job transition feel a bit easier.
Now, wherever you are in your job search, you can really assess how you feel about having the conversation and making that transition, and use the steps accordingly.
(Thanks to Kevin, my brother in law and Wonder Worker for the awesome Work Wonders intro! Check out his work over at artisacreed.com)