Deciding to Stay or Go …

This can be one of the most difficult questions we ever ask ourselves: to stay, or go? It may be to or not to accept a promotion, leave your team, take a job with another organization, relocate, or change occupations altogether.

And as leaders, we are often asked for guidance by members of our team who are making their own career choices.

It’s safe to say we all have a bad day now and then. This is not a good reason to throw in the towel though. It is, however, time to hit the “pause” button and ask yourself a few questions if you’re thinking about leaving because you feel things aren’t going your way:

  • Is this a one-time only or occasional issue for you, or is it something that is consistently having a negative impact on you?
  • Have you experienced this before? How did you handle it?
  • What are the stakes for you?
  • Is this about one person, or about the organization?
  • Are you appropriately reacting or overreacting?
  • What have you tried to do to remedy the situation, if anything?
  • What might you be willing to do?

So, when is the time to make a change and how does one go about making a decision?

  • Begin with an open mind and a blank sheet of paper
  • Be clear about the question you are asking and the decision you are trying to make (be specific, write it down)
  • Assess the current state (what’s working, what’s not)
  • For each option, list the pro’s and con’s
    • What would you gain? Lose?
    • What impact would each have on you? On others you care about?
  • Ask yourself, what information do you still need and who might be a resource

You might want consider reading “Love it, Don’t Leave It”  by Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans. I consider the book to be highly valuable and have either used it with, or recommended it to countless clients and colleagues. Some decided to stay and others decided to pursue other opportunities. In any case, they found the 26 Ways to Get What You Want at Work to be thought-provoking and helpful.

I have found it essential for people to feel that they belong, they matter and they make a difference. If any of these things are missing in our work-life, our satisfaction meter drops dramatically.

Bev’s book is a down-to-earth guide to help you determine: what’s really important to you; how to ask for it; and how to get more of what you want right where you are.

If you reach the conclusion that it is time to go, the book outlines important questions you need to be asking and answers you need to find before striking out. The goal is for you to you land on your feet and set yourself up for success.

As coach and author, Stanlee Phelps says, “…this is not just another ‘fix-me-because I’m broken’ book, or worse, ‘Take this job and shove it!’ The reader is invited to make assertive choices from a menu chocked full of practical know-how and is inspired to put those choices into action.”

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