Should I Stay Or Should I Go? – Part I

Stay. Deal with the devil you know versus leave and discover the devil you don’t know.

Remember how excited we were just a few short years ago when we created a business marriage to join our current company? What changed? Is it them or is it us? The U.S. divorce rate is nearly 50% for first marriages. For second marriages it is a whopping 67%! Psychology Today® February 2012. Why is it so high? Well, we have to take some responsibility for bringing ourselves to the second marriage.

Joining a new business marriage involves reshaping commitments, confirming our purpose, and integrating into an unknown industry or culture. We have to learn new product lines and meet new training expectations. How hard is all that versus just changing our thinking or attitude regarding our current position?

In a rut? Our boss doesn’t support us? Is the company changing for the worse? We often decide that we are unhappy and it’s time to get a new job! Maybe that’s a solution, and yet many of us act emotionally when another company recruits us. We feel great and desired, and that feeling often ends when the employer hires us. We feel ignored at our current employer and the grass seems greener at the new super attentive company. We need to make a very thoughtful decision, since this is our career. More than money, it is our values at work. We strengthen our trust, integrity, creativity, knowledge, and adaptability through our work, and we need to make the right choice for the long term, not just a rash, impulsive, “they-love-me” decision.

I knew a manager, Dawn who took her team through a retention workshop. She was a highly respected leader in a great organization and knew other companies were anxious to get her people. She knew and expected that her team would be wooed by recruiters or another company. Dawn was proactive, took the lead, and helped her people make good decisions. She wanted to make sure her people were not just dazzled by a couple dinners with VP’s, fancy titles, or money. She would walk them through all the things they should know to make a sound decision. In some cases, when it came to things like geography, family issues, benefits, development, travel, or other significant factors, it was the right thing for an individual to move to another job, and Dawn respected that.

A career change, is like buying a house – buyer beware. Dawn helped her team members to be more aware. She would rather help her people be prepared to make a right career decision, even if it meant leaving her team. By the way, nobody left her team; they loved and greatly admired her high level of caring and, in return, they went the extra mile for her.

We must learn a new way to think before we can master a new way to be.” ~ Marianne Williamson

So how did Dawn help her team? She would walk them through the questions they should first ask themselves, like:

  • Am I being naive? Is this new employer being so attentive because it’s part of their culture, or is this like dating before being dumped?
  • Am I being real? Am I putting on more of a show with this new potential employer than I do with my current team? Am I being myself?
  • Am I being too trusting? Am I buying everything they are saying without checking? They are checking my references, should I be checking theirs?
  • Do they really care about me or are they attracting me to get to my connections?
  • How different are the activities they expect versus what they say, and are they really my strengths?
  • How much about travel, geography, administration, bureaucracy, and other job details do I fully understand?
  • Who else do I really know at the employer?
  • I say I’m a hard-worker and team player. I wonder what their expectations are of those words?

Next, she would walk them through the questions they should ask the potential employer:

  • Can you give me more details of the product pipeline and company finances beyond just what’s on your website?
  • What has been the turnover in this position the last 6 years?
  • How long has this position been your responsibility?
  • How long do you plan on supervising this position? Is my performance tied to your compensation?
  • What is the plan and earning potential of this position?
  • Why did the other person leave this position?
  • Could I talk to the other departments, and my teammates, prior to accepting the position?
  • Can I see a formal job description ?
  • What are training performance expectations, i.e. tests, certifications etc.
  • How much administration is required and what type and frequency of contact will I have with my supervisor?
  • How would my new teammates describe the culture?

Know who is buying. You may think you are buying into a new career, but maybe the employer, has got their best selling shoes on. Once you are in – it may be like Hotel California – you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.

In career decisions, the best advice is – Run to something you Love, or From something you Hate.

Jim

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