So you want to leave your job. Searching for greener pastures? A boss who listens? More money? That’s cool–but it’s a tough row to hoe right now, given that there are few jobs available and scores of qualified and over-qualified candidates spamming their resumes all over the Internet. Here’s what happened to an acquaintance of mine a few months ago when he tried to quit.
This is posted with permission, because we both think it’s a good lesson and an even better story, though I’ve changed all the names and taken some liberty with the dialog to clarify the story (and because nobody recorded anything).
The Man Who Tried to Quit His Job
For 6 months or more, Eric was unhappy with his job. His responsibilities remained the same as they were when he started, 2 1/2 years prior. As a good employee who received average to high marks on his employee reviews, he felt he deserved a raise, a promotion, or both. He even asked the boss for different responsibilities to break the monotony of his day-to-day.
I met with Eric a couple of times during this period of unrest, and each time he expressed dismay at the unchanging state of his job and career. I let him vent for a while before we moved on to other topics, like fantasy football or the books we were reading. We didn’t dive deep into his work trouble–just typical responses to “How’s work?”
The last time I saw him, though, he had a different answer.
Charlie: “How’s work? Any better?” Eric: “Actually, it’s funny you ask. It is getting better.”
“I went in to my boss’s office one Monday morning last month and told him I quit.”
(This is where it gets interesting.)
It’s Friday afternoon at 4:55PM, and I’ve lost motivation. I wish I had a great idea to share, but I just don’t. I want to blog, but I can’t for the life of me figure out anything to write.
So instead I’m going to walk through what I do when I’m unmotivated. (Look at me–I’m writing about not having anything to write. Trippy.) I wrote about being unmotivated at work before, but that was a list of specific tasks you can do when you can’t think of anything else. This is more like a process I use to get the juices flowing.
1. Make a list. The first thing I do when I’m unmotivated is organize. Sometimes I clean out my inbox, other times I sort the papers on my desk. I’m so much more efficient when I work from a list, so putting my to-dos down on paper is a great way to get started. I ask myself “If I was motivated, what should I be doing?” Continue reading
We all go through periods where our motivation to get things done is lacking. Maybe it’s the first hour you get to work every day, or the thirty minutes between your last meeting and lunch. Or sometimes it’s a Saturday afternoon and you feel like getting a few things taken care of, but don’t have the time or attention to dig into the hard stuff. It doesn’t matter when or why–we all experience this from time to time.
Keeping your focus is equally challenging when you have up to a dozen different things vying for your attention. Between your work e-mail, personal e-mail, work phone, cell phone, work instant messaging, personal instant messaging, Facebook, Twitter, text messaging, and other distractions, it’s a wonder we get even 20 minutes of uninterrupted work time. The myth of multitasking has been debunked by many others, so I won’t go into it here.