Most articles say that people quit their bosses.
They blame it on the bosses – I don’t think so. Yet, I think there is a far more interesting reason why many people leave their jobs. They have decided to respect their work and their time by being the professional they are. These pros view themselves as the free agents they really are and here is how they have done it.
They give themselves permission. Permission to say what they think, work on the projects they choose to work on and they are not waiting for others to notice, approve, and change their role. Rachel, a VP of Customer Experience at a large CRM company, realized she was constantly stressed about what her boss or coworkers thought about her. After several conversations about this, she realized the only she could give herself permission. She gave it – speaks her mind and now is being actively pursued by other rival companies and the client base at where she currently works wants her in on all of their projects.
Pros move on from teams they have outgrown. They get uncomfortable when their team gets too comfortable. As Todd Kashdan says in his book Curious, “When we feel that what we do and how we do it is important, we feel personally connected.” When this is lost pros seek it elsewhere. Pros want more. They don’t want to settle and become stuck in a role where they feel increasingly uncomfortable because the team, the company even themselves have lost their innovative edge and are satisfied with staying there.
They won’t stay in a toxic environment no matter how much the job pays. Melanie, a PR person for a NYC fashion agency, said she loved her salary but it wasn’t worth the hours and the toll the stress was taking on her health. “Honestly my family thought I was crazy when I quit. In fact, they made it pretty clear they would not be available for financial support. And I respect that.”
She started with 3 jobs to make ends meet at first thought she had made a mistake. But one of her jobs was teaching Yoga at a studio where she always gave extra attention to her classes. That got her an introduction to another studio owner who offered her a trial and then hired her full time. She works with an amazing client base that she loves. Her salary also reflects the level of professionalism she brings and her health? It’s great too.
Pros choose not to spend much time contributing to someone else’s dream when they don’t share. Pros simply are unwilling to waste their time. Helena was telling me that she had been lobbying for a new project for months. She knew she was ready and had been putting in a lot of extra time to show her dedication. She even had someone picked out who would be thrilled to take on some of her assignments. When she approached her boss again he told her point blank she wasn’t ready. She knew she was, confidently started interviewing and now is working on a great project that allows her to spend nearly 85% of her time in the area that she loves to work in. The end result is the quality if her work is amazing, she’s the person everyone wants on their team, and life outside of work is entirely her own.
They have huge student loans and they are not willing to stay in debt forever. Smart employers are going to find a way to address this or the pros – will bolt because that has always been the quickest way to get a higher salary.
Fortunately, some companies are realizing this.
“Student-loan repayment assistance has the potential to affect more than 44 million Americans burdened by student loan debt,” said Scott Thompson, CEO of Tuition.io, a benefits administration firm. “The $1.4 trillion student loan crisis has … heightened financial stress, which can lead to disengagement in the workplace,” he noted in a SHRM interview.
So sure some people do quit their bosses (although I think it’s really the senior leadership of companies that allow bad bosses.) The pros I’m talking are not quitting their bosses they are acting and becoming their own bosses whether the start a business or continue to work somewhere else. They value their time enough to create how they can make this happen. They give themselves permission to become a professional at a whole new level.
Pros are not looking for comfort – they are looking for autonomy on their own terms and they aren’t afraid to define it and take action.