I was recently catching up on a few news stories, and one relating to a journalist, who was leaving her position after more than a decade of work, caught my attention.
When asked why she was departing her job of nearly 14 years, she responded, “I was getting too comfortable in the work, so this told me it was time to go!”
This is an interesting situation because she prepared to be a top journalist for many years, and her annual income is significant. Yet, when she was no longer motivated to perform at her best, she decided it was up to her to make the next move, and it was a bold one!
Too Afraid to Leave
Many years ago, I worked for a banking institution as a Financial Analyst. My compensation package was above average, and I enjoyed interacting with my colleagues. I remember thinking I would probably work for this organization at least 10 years.
Around year three, however, I began contemplating other opportunities. The work and payment were good, but the job was all-consuming. It was nearly impossible for me to separate my mind from the pressing work at the office.
For example, after arriving home from work on a Monday night, I would have dinner and a quick chat with my wife and kids. I would watch just enough TV to fall asleep, and 8 hours later I was making my commute to the office to start the day again.
Yes … I was deeply entrenched in the rat race!
Time to Go!
After discussing this unrelenting work schedule with my wife, it was clear I needed to leave this company. It was difficult to do so because no one in the organization had given me any reason to resign.
I wasn’t upset with anyone! I liked my co-workers and appreciated my boss.
However, in addition to the relentless schedule, I had become too comfortable with the job itself. In fact, there were many days I could perform just good enough and still receive a pat on the back.
The key point here is I knew I was underperforming, and this is what bothered me the most. I needed to be in a position where I was challenged more, and it was up to me to make it happen.
As I walked out the doors of this financial institution, I was excited. Of course, I was nervous thinking about how I would make up the lost income, but I had some plans in place, and even if it took a year or so, I was confident good things would happen.
The rest is history … I found my calling working as a professor and corporate trainer. The point here is I was born to be an educator, but it took many years of bumps and bruises to finally realize it.
What’s Next for You?
As you ponder where you are today in your career, are you excited about your current work and the path you are heading? This is a tough question, and it’s one that should be front-and-center.
If we are unhappy with where we stand today, steps should be taken immediately to make things better. While it might be unwise to jump ship immediately, there are preliminary steps one can take. A good first step is admitting that the status quo or comfort zone will no longer define job satisfaction for you.