How Do You Know When It’s Time to Go?

“You gotta know when to hold ‘em; know when to fold ‘em; know when to walk away; know when to run.” As the Kenny Rogers song says, sometimes our only choice is to leave a bad job.

At a recent speaking engagement for  the Project Managers Institute, I shared with the stunned audience that a shocking 61% of employees received no praise in the workplace last year, according to Gallop research.  If you have a “bad boss”, you are 33% more likely to suffer a stroke.  In his book, Three Signs of a Miserable Job, author Patrick Lencioni discusses the symptoms of an intolerable job: Anonymity, Irrelevance and Immeasurement.

To determine if you are in a stinky job situation or not, ask yourself these three questions:

  • Do I feel invisible at the workplace?  Anonymity, feeling invisible, is a sure sign that you might want to evaluate if this is the right place for you.
  • Do I feel like my work does not matter?  Do I feel like I could go away and someone else could easily pick up where I left off?  Irrelevance, feeling like your work is unimportant to the organization, can degrade your self-worth and lead to unhappiness in the job world.
  • Am I held accountable for what I am asked to produce or do? Immeasurement, not establishing benchmarks of performance, creates a sense of being unfulfilled as workers struggle to know if they are performing at the desired levels. 

If you are miserable in your job, chances are your health and your future are both being negatively affected. There is no work-life balance when all of your energy is going into an empty black hole.   If it is time to "fold ‘em”, be honest with yourself and look for a new workplace that will offer you a sense of fulfillment and happiness.  (And if you need a well-qualified personal coach to help you create a job search strategy, I bet I know where I can find one!)

The Gambler by Kenny Rogers from Lyrics Freak

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