Steps to Management Success – 111: It’s a Job, Not a Prison Sentence

Written By Rick Frishman Published April 15th, 2010


It’s a Job, Not a Prison Sentence

There are times—perhaps more than a few—when you will feel frustrated, burned out, and downright trapped by the way things are going at work. Fortunately, most of those feelings will pass, or at least subside—but when they don’t, it may be time to move on.

WHAT IT MEANS: Gone are the days of lifetime employment with one company. Downsizing, outsourcing, and the general turbulence of today’s global economy have changed all that. It’s the Age of the Free Agent—and it means that there is no chain trapping you to your desk. Obviously, deciding to quit your current job is not something that you should do casually or impulsively, but if your day-to-day work experience has just become flat-out miserable, with no relief in sight, you’re not doing yourself any favor by staying there.

ACTION PLAN: Always have an exit strategy. Keep your resume current and your cover letter sparkling even when times are good—because you never know. Put the word out through your network that you’re looking, and gear up for an active and aggressive job search. Let your dissatisfaction motivate you toward extracting yourself from your current “career prison” ASAP. After all, in the final analysis, all jobs are temporary—and when it comes to leaving a job (or boss) you despise, change is good.

EVEN BETTER: Determine whether it’s possible to improve your job situation by trying to confront the problem—or whether it’s possible for you to engineer your own attitude adjustment. If your pain stems from a specific situation, perhaps that situation can be resolved. If it’s a whole laundry list of horrors, it’s probably time for you to plan an expeditious retreat—but walk away professionally, with a smile, a handshake, and no burned bridges. In any case, don’t lose sight of the fact that insofar as working at any job goes, you do have a choice.

(Excerpted from: 10 Clowns Don’t Make a Circus. . . and 249 Other Critical Management Success Strategies by Steven Schragis and Rick Frishman)

Roger Due

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