20 Good Reasons
OK, so you’re thinking about it. You’re not happy, fulfilled, learning, growing, enjoying, earning, sleeping, procreating, planning, anticipating or even living a life because you hate your job. Here are 20 good reasons to make the leap.
1. Peers are idiots: You refer to your colleagues by turns that are less savoury than those found at a bad game on the municipal golf course. If this is you Adios!
2. Boss is a tool: They know a quarter of what you do, earn twice as much, are half your age, turn up when they feel like it, travel the world and surprisingly are widely known to be on the ‘fast-track’ at your company. It is unlikely that anyone higher than they are will work this out. More than likely their superiors are similarly challenged. Like attracts like. Go. Before they are made CEO.
3. Working Like a Dog: If you fail to see daylight other than through the office windows, eat lunch over your computer which looks like your kid’s high chair after breakfast, frequently miss social events (this includes what other people might call ‘weekends’), have bags under your eyes you could pack your lunch in and are constantly being told you need to show more ‘commitment’ in order to be taken seriously for promotion. Run. Fast.
4. Elusive carrots: Your company has a great incentive programme. You just never manage to get there despite your hard work and significant results. Performance reviews are an opportunity for you to hear all about what you aren’t doing or achieving. This will likely be a time when your boss will highlight the losers in the company (who happen to be their mates) and will explain to you how their performance is so superior to yours to illustrate just why you are a tad short of hitting the bracket where the big bucks kick in. This will not stop your boss from asking you to provide a list of all your achievements for the year so that they can claim them as their own during their own performance review. You will however be asked to draft a series of goals for next year, which you will reach and the process will begin again. Are you that slow a learner? Give up!
5. Underpaid: Market research, colleagues in the industry, recruiters, your spouse, you, your direct reports, your colleagues, the guy who makes your morning latte and the cleaner (who you often have deep and meaningful chats with at the end of the day) all know you are being paid far less than you are worth. This may be because you have told them so. If you know this and nothing is about to change, don’t be an idiot. Stop complaining and get paid what you are worth. This is never going to happen where you are now.
6. Hate Your Job: Sunday nights are filled with that sinking, gut-wrenching feeling of impending doom. Your stomach turns, you kick the cat and generally have the hump. Holidays (which you don’t take often because you are too busy) are spent taking calls from your idiot boss who can’t do anything without you there. You spend the week before working double time so that you can ‘get away’, you spend the first 4 days unwinding and the last 3 dreading that the holiday is almost over and you will be back at work before you know it. The minute you walk in the door you are in crisis mode. This continues until your next holiday. You are going to die if you don’t do something and they will likely find your corpse in your office with your blackberry in one hand and your mouse in the other. What are you waiting for?
7. Overwhelmed: Your ‘in-tray’ could be used for hurdling practice, you answer your mobile and your landline at the same time so things don’t get backed up. Clearly, its time to go.
8. Communication Vacuum: You frequently find out about your next project on the evening news, your competitors are your only means of finding out what the hell’s going on with your management team, you get congratulated for your new responsibilities by the reception staff (who are the first to know), your three new direct reports introduce themselves to you and explain to you how they will fit into your team’s structure and you’ve just learned (from a Kiwi) that your responsibilities now include the New Zealand office. Did somebody say ‘quit’?
9. Can’t Keep Up: Your strategic planning for your team is written on a post-it note with a few coffee stain rings because you were using it as a coaster. You are trying to find it to remember what you planned, its time to turn it in to the auditors but by the time you track it down, its budget time and they are already starting to mumble about ‘next years targets’. Just give up. You know you want to.
10. Planes, trains & automobiles: Your car is an office on wheels, you have conversion plugs for all your electronic equipment when you travel but the bag you carry them in needs its own seat on the plane. The bartender at the Qantas Club and a great many flight attendants know you by name and always serve you first because of previous incidents. Your mobile goes off in the middle of the night because you had the alarm set for the morning wakeup in Hong Kong and forgot to change it. Your satellite navigation system is programmed to show you all the Caltex petrol stations so you don’t run out when you are on your road trips in the middle of nowhere. You seriously need to hit the road.
11. Dreaming about retirement: Has it become an obsession? Do you check your superannuation balance on-line on a daily basis and calculate exactly how long you could survive on the available balance if you really pulled your belt in? Perhaps you need to re-think whether you are really in the right job.
12. Spend more time moaning about work than doing work: Your preferred pastime is company-bashing with your disgruntled colleagues and you dream up elaborate plans for activating the fire alarm system so that you can get out of the office for an hour or two. You have late starts, long tea breaks, extra-long lunches and lots of appointments that require you to dash off early but consistently maintain that you are too busy, perhaps a fresh start is in order.
13. Imbalance: Your kids ask your spouse ‘who’s that?’ when you infrequently make it home for dinner. Last Christmas you enquired about Uncle Freddy, only to be reminded he had passed on the year before (you were too busy to get to the funeral). Your spouse makes appointments for important occasions with your secretary (such as their birthday, your anniversary, a weekly nookie etc.), you comment on the new furniture at home but are reminded that the sofa, coffee table or TV have actually been around for some time (thanks to good old Uncle Freddy’s last will and testament). Will you really miss this if you move on to where the grass is greener?
14. Direct Reports leave job ads on your desk: Perhaps they know what you seem to be overlooking. You’re in the wrong job.
15. Emotional Wreck: If cheese on your salad sandwich can move you to physical violence, Telstra ads make you weep, you have alcohol of some form handy in your office for those times when you are working late, are known to tear strips off the photocopier repair guy for being incompetent and are often seen rocking in the corner when you aren’t laughing like a lunatic at someone else’s incompetence, this job is not for you. Why are you still there?
16. Life is short: Grey hair has crept through your once crowning glory, your mid-section is blossoming in sympathy with your butt from sitting in your office chair for hours on end and not partaking of any exercise other than walking for your morning caffeine hit – extra shot, you hold restaurant menus at arms length and squint to see what’s on offer (a natural by-product of long-term PC use under harsh fluoro lights) and you are still in your twenties. Is there a glimmer of hope for you?
17. Groundhog Day: Your life is a cycle of monotony from meeting to meeting, day to day, commute to commute, chore to chore, conflict to conflict, crisis to crisis and a seemingly endless re-run of the same uninspiring cycle of the mundane and the ordinary. Get off your arse and start looking for a new job. Don’t stop until you find one.
18. Redundancy, maybe?: They used to offer it, they said they would again, your mates have all gone and are now caravanning around Oz. Maybe next year you will get the golden handshake….or maybe not. Do you really want to spend the next 10 years hoping for a lucky break or do you want to make your own luck?
19. Mortgage jitters: What if you leave and it doesn’t work out, what if you can’t pay the dreaded mortgage, what if you get a better job on more money and can afford to get a place with another room (for the boat that you will afford on the salary your next job might end up paying?). How long will you worry about the possibility of the negative when they future is yours for the taking?
20. Maybe there’s something better out there: You’re right. There is. It’s up to you. Start searching!
Quotes to help You Pull the Plug
I've had a wonderful time, but this wasn't it.
Groucho Marx (1895-1977).
Fill what's empty, empty what's full, and scratch where it itches.
The Duchess of Windsor, when asked what is the secret of a long and happy life?
I don't know why we are here, but I'm pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves.
Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951).
Do, or do not. There is no 'try'.
Yoda ('The Empire Strikes Back').
The full use of your powers along lines of excellence.
Definition of ‘happiness’ - John F. Kennedy (1917-1963).
If you are going through hell, keep going.
Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965).
One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important.
Bertrand Russell (1872-1970).
The graveyards are full of indispensable men.
Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970).
I don't want to achieve immortality through my work; I want to achieve immortality through not dying.
Woody Allen (1935-).
You can take this job and shove it! I ain’t workin’ here no more.
David Allan Coe.