For those of us who have been in this situation before this is a very perplexing one to be in. We do our research about a company and its culture before joining and choosing to invest a significant proposition of our time and efforts there. When we first join we are too busy trying to understand and master the more intricate details on our jobs and we don’t pay too much attention to anything else going on. We then settle in to a routine and things that we did not notice before begin to frustrate us and we suddenly begin to doubt our decisions. However we are also conscious that we don’t want one of those resumes that look like a shopping list and perhaps if we stick it out things will turn out for the better.
I have personally been in this situation twice in my life and one time I stuck it out and another time I chose to leave and writing this and reflecting I am totally comfortable with my decisions and I would like to offer some of the things that I took into account and hope that this will help those of you going through this at the moment as I know how much of a difficult and stressful time that it can be.
When I Stuck It Out
When I was 21 years old I decided that one of the life skills that I wanted to develop was in sales so through a few connections I had at the time I joined a company selling office equipment. The culture of the company was a very old school mentality of sales I was thrown a phone book on my first day and told to get on the phone and start selling. As a young and ambitious person I was only too happy to sink my teeth in and get to work. I worked as hard as I could for three months taking in advice and mentoring from the more successful candidate. To be honest all the staff there were really good and only too happy to help where they could but alas after three months I had nothing to show for my efforts and to with high expectations of my own performance I took my concerns to my manager at the time.
To my surprise he was very empathetic to my concerns and thoughts and asked me to stick it out for one more month and if I was still unhappy he would support my decision to move on. As fate would have it during that month I landed a rather large sale from my cold calling efforts and the rest was history – I ended up staying with that company for 6 years.
I cannot honestly say that my decision was not influenced by landing that first big sale but I feel that the larger reason that I stuck it out for so long was the supporting nature of the people who were around me and this not only applied to the people in my area but this was by far in general the attitude across the board. There was an environment there that was keen for all of us to succeed and to face challenges together not only as a team but as a company and this made all the difference to my decision.
When Moved To Greener Pastures
Following a challenging year as a consultant life threw me some commitments that I felt obligated to rejoin the workforce. So after much research I decided to join an IT company because I wanted to gain exposure in the field as I thought to myself that this was the future. In fact to take this opportunity I accepted $20,000 less per annum offers, this was how important choosing the right company to work for was me. They professed that they were a “Google Like” company in their attitude.
When I joined everything went well for a month of two as I spent my time diving through user manuals, playing with their software and listening to others present the software to prospects to understand where the product fit in the marketplace and how it helped solve customers’ problems. However once I had my head around this I began to discover that this small business had not yet grown enough to understand the difference between the owner’s personal money and the business money. As a result, resources were scarce and the payment structure was too far skewed towards the ownership rather than the employees. These were all factors that I had faced before and had been able to get over these through hard work and successfully managing the resources that were at my hands without crying poor for more.
The real issue here was I sensed that for some reason the owners were not really driving and setting the business up for future growth and working together with the employees to grow both themselves and the business concurrently. As a result of this I chose to leave and in hindsight it was a good decision as what I did not know at the time was that the owners were in negotiation to sell the company to an overseas investor. Perhaps on some level I sensed this and this had some influence on my decision.
Overview And Final Thoughts
So when I re read this post there is one major theme that emerged. The decision to stay or leave a job should not be made on the minor inconveniences or frustrations that we all face from time to time but rather I urge you to think broader and to consider where the company is heading and the path that they are trying to use to get there. If you can truly believe in their overall strategy and direction then it may be worth sticking out and dealing with the issues that you are facing as there is likely to be a light at the end of the tunnel. If there are people around you that you can learn from this is also another reason to pack up your stuff just yet as some of the lessons that you learn can serve you well for the future.
My final thought is that one thing that I would do different next time is to take some more time to get to know the strategy and direction in more detail before I choose to partner with a company. Even though it may be an employee relationship not a partnership per se for me who I choose to spend my time with is important to me and through experience I will ask better questions up front next time.
What are your thoughts? Have you chosen to stay or leave a job that you are happy about or regret? I would love to hear some more stories.
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