Exploring next career moves, doing a job search or starting a new endeavor like your own business are all daunting and often, frustrating propositions. Many times you’ll come up against a lack of results or clarity that dumps a heap of hopelessness on you in the from of “I want to quit!!” Should you?
To quit or not to quit? What do you think I’m going to say? No! Of course, you don’t quit. Not yet anyway.
I always say: “ Life will tell you if you’re wrong. YOU don’t need to decide”. Roadblocks, a lack of results, obstacles and setbacks—those could all certainly be interpreted as life saying, “give up”. But maybe there’s another message.
If you were running a race or working out at the gym and you experienced pain, you’d have the choice to stop or to work through it. Most athletes work through it being sensitive to the threshold where they’d cause major injury. The smart ones also know to build in recovery time in between the big competitions or work outs.
When it comes to your exploration or ramp-up, ‘pain’ can mean, “Wait!” Just pull back, observe, divert your attention to something else to gain perspective and then
re-engage. Taking your foot off the accelerator and coasting in ‘neutral’ for a bit can go a long way to knowing whether to proceed and how to do so or whether to redirect your energies to something else altogether.
Maureen is Senior VP in the finance industry and she has been on a campaign to further her career. She knew it wasn’t time to begin a job search but she did feel that strategizing a way to be better known and more valuable in her organization as well as her industry at large, was necessary to her future plans. She made a Herculean commitment to networking and even cold calling at an ambitious pace of several times a week. She was quite successful and then hit a wall. People weren’t calling back at the same rate, the lunch meetings weren’t happening and the pipeline was drying up. There was some harsh self-criticism, berating herself for quitting her pace, but we reframed that to allow herself some breathing room. In the open space, an opportunity appeared to be given larger responsibility along with greater exposure within her company. Succeeding at the new task would be a huge boost and resume-building highlight which would poise her for a promotion or better opportunity elsewhere.
Let’s call what happened to Maureen the result of ‘focused in-action’. She wasn’t giving up but she was allowing a break to see what might emerge. In this case, an opportunity came up but you might find inspiration for a different strategy, the idea to call on someone else you may need to talk to or you may find a slight course correction.
The next time you want to quit, take a break instead. Allow some focused in-action and pick up within two to three weeks. If you go longer, it will become unfocused in-action and you could derail. If nothing emerges in your break, you may need to go back to drawing board. It’s OK.
Quit? Never. You may have to go a different way but keep your eye on the ultimate prize—-a satisfying line of work. It just may look different than you thought.
Let us know how we can help.
I have no company and no, I am a single Mom mostly. I live with an alcoholic, whoI am trying to get away from. I never had a career path. I am a lot of different things living in a world that defines you by your job, or that you have to be one thing. I never knew what I was good at and I was told from the time I went to school , that I was a non-conformist.Whatever the hell that meant.How do you decide on a career if you’ve never had a career but a myriad of different jobs.
You are in a tough spot and I commend you for taking action. A myriad of jobs is not a negative. The key is to figure out what skills you’ve gained from all those jobs and see where else those skills can be used. Even if they put you in the position to qualify for something at an entry level, that’s fine. Choosing an entry level where there is room to learn, grow and move up is the key. I don’t know where you are in the country or what industries or opportunities are in your area. Don’t let your time as ‘mom’ or your myriad of jobs be a limit. They are assets. My book Now What? 90 Days to a New Life Direction might be helpful. If that is not accessible to you contact us through email and let me know. Don’t give up and don’t let anyone label you. Don’t label yourself either. All best LBF