What’s your favourite football song? Without question, mine is ‘World in Motion’, the England song from Italia ’90.
It was a brilliant song and still brings back great memories from that tournament.
Gazza’s tears, David Platt’s volley against Belgium and Lineker’s goal against the Germans stand out – if that appears rude, I’m sorry. In footballing terms, Germany are the international equivalent to Millwall to me (a West Ham fan). Try as I might, I just can’t be nice about the German football team – probably because they’re usually better than us! They certainly were in that tournament, beating England in the Semi-Finals after a devastating penalty shoot-out.
I still think we would have won it if Chris Waddle hadn’t leant back 90 degrees when taking his. Oh well, I guess it was just the right time for us to go out that year. It will only make it all the sweeter next month when we beat them in the final.
What about you? Are you Germany or England from that match? Will you go on to better things at work or is it time for you to make an exit?”
There are a few ways to work that out:
- You feel down every morning.
- Your company is sinking.
- You have a real dislike of your boss / colleagues
- You’re continually anxious / stressed / unhappy at work
- Your work related stress is impacting your health
- You don’t believe in the company any longer
- You don’t fit in with the culture
- Your performance is suffering
- Your skills are not being utilised
- Your role has changed and duties have increased but your pay hasn’t
- Your ideas are not being heard
- You’re bored and stagnating
- You’re experiencing abuse / harassment
So, once you’ve decided it’s time to move on, what should you do in the period between making that decision and resigning? Over to John Barnes:
You’ve got to hold and give: Wait! – Hold on to that resignation letter and don’t leave without something else to go to unless you really have to. It’s also important to continue to give your best so that you can leave with your head held high and your colleagues with a good impression. Remember, you may be working with some of them again in the future so maintain your integrity.
But do it at the right time: Before you resign, write down the pros and cons of leaving your job, so you can get a broader perspective. Make sure that you’ve thought of any solutions to any problems you may be encountering, how you could improve your current situation and think about the risks of leaving. If for example, you realise you want to leave because you’ve stopped learning, it may help to speak to your boss and ask for extra responsibility or to work on a project outside of your normal remit. That may mean that you can spend another 2 years fulfilled at your current company. If it is time to leave, work out timescales and how long it should take. You’ll have a way to measure it and if you need to change your approach at any point – think of how long interview processes will last etc.
You can be slow or fast: If you only look at the ‘push’ factors, those that you want to get away from in your current role you’ll find that you may make a bad decision and take the first job offer to ‘get out’ rather than to progress. Slow this process down by networking, speaking with recruiters in your market and with peers at competitor companies. Learn which ones offer what you need and what type of positions they have open. Work out what the ‘pull’ factors are for you and list them – for example, ‘I want to work for a company that has a culture of collaboration’. Unless you’re in an immediate rush to leave, you should take time in finding the next job and focus on pull not push factors in your decision making. After all, you wouldn’t want to go through the same thing all over again. By writing a push factor as a pull, you’ll also be more positive and clearer in what you’re looking for. ‘I hate my boss’ (push) becomes ‘I want to work for a boss that encourages personal development’ (pull).
But you must get to the line: Before a company asks you to sign on the dotted line of a contract, you’ll need to interview well and for that to happen, you need to be confident in your own ability. If you find yourself in a negative situation at work, it’s easy for that to influence how you answer questions and therefore, how you’re perceived by an interviewer. Whilst you’re still in the role you’re looking to leave, work hard and give your best. You’ll feel more confident when interviewing and will be able to speak positively about your own work based on recent events rather than how awful it is to be in your current team! This will show any future employer that you can be trusted to act professionally and with respect for your employer at all times.
So, to recap:
- Make an informed decision as to whether you really need to leave or if issues can be sorted
- Write down the pros and cons of your current job and ask yourself ‘are there solutions?’
- If it is the right time, think of the pull factors that you’re looking for in the next job.
- Think of timescales, how long will this take and when do I want to find a new job by?
- Continue to give your best!
It’s never easy when you find yourself in a difficult situation at work. I’ve been there. If you do find yourself in an unfavourable situation, work hard to remain positive. You’ll have forgotten about the bad experience a few weeks after leaving and if you approach your search in the right way you’ll be in a much better place in no time.
One final point – to a degree, trust your gut! Sometimes you just know it’s the right time to leave, at others you’ll just know you should stay.
After all, as the song goes ‘When somethings good, it’s never wrong!’
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SENIOR CONSULTANT – GOVERNANCE
T: +44 (0) 207 337 8824