Have it ever cross your mind that you would quit your job one day without a backup plan? Honestly speaking, I have never thought that such mishap will ever hit me. I am always a planning person. Then it happened not once, but twice in 2011 and 2015, when I said to myself, “I want to quit my job !” How I wish I have set aside a side business that can sustain me anytime I decide to quit my job!
Anyway, what would it takes for a sane man to do such an irresponsible thing as resigning in the first place? Normally, almost everyone started their job full of enthusiasm. Take myself as the example. Even days before I start my first day of work, I would have sleepless nights thinking about the short term and medium term plan for the department that I was put in charge. So, what happened?
There are many people who hate the monotony in their job. When I started my first job in the manufacturing division of a consumer goods company, the initial six months was rather interesting. I learnt production planning, machines, efficiency management until the stimulation from the learning started to waned. There came a time that I loathed the sight of the very same tunnel oven that I was working so hard to master in the first three months of joining the company.
However, boredom alone seldom set a person off into leaving a job with a jolt. I mean when you feel that you don’t have much to learn from your current job, it usually signifies that you have mastered the craft. It also means that you are ready to move on to newer (not necessary bigger) responsibility. You can take your time to look within your company or if there aren’t any internal openings, then you look elsewhere. Time is on your side.
2. Bad Bosses
This is the single biggest reason that causes employees to quit their job. There are many wage earners who can tolerate a vast spectrum of misdeeds in their working environment like the lack of recognition (this and the others will be discussed later), low salary, and the fact that there is nothing more to learn in the job. But when it comes to a bad boss, very few can last this challenge. Let us discuss a few profile of a bad boss. Bear in mind, a single individual can display one or all of the profiles stated below:
a. The Narcissist
This is one prick who only love himself. One tell tale sign of this kind of boss is his tendency to praise himself. You will see him putting up his own picture in his office. He will even praise the work he does and sadly, the rest of his employees are merely tools to make him looks good.
b. The Snake
This is the sinister type. This kind would act like they are so into your welfare. Their favorite phrase “Be courageous”, “Trust me” etc. But then, when you make a mistake after buying into their sweet talk, they will send you a warning letter to cover themselves.
After that, you might hear this from The Snake “You should have done this for prevention. My side have already taken the necessary precaution” or something like this “people with your experience should not have made this mistake”. And it suddenly hits you that you are committing suicide by discussing your plan with this kind.
c. The Micromanager
The synonym of this is The Control Freak. Imagine your boss asking you to give him a plan of your annual leave for the whole year. Yes, January to December. I had one COO who wanted me to furnish him with the schedule and itinery of every worker on every single week after the board gave him the authority to oversee my company (which happened to be more profitable than his). When it comes to reporting to a micromanager, you lose all freedom to be creative in your work. All your waking hours will be used to prepare reports for him in real time.
d. The KPI Driver
This kind doesn’t care whether you are human or robots. They are target driven. When they communicate, they don’t want to hear the process, all they care are the results. And when you do meet with them, take with you all the necessary charts and figures. They have no time for small talks. Nope, they don’t want to hear your problems. Just tell them your goals, and how you gonna achieve them. Discount the mishaps by yourself. He doesn’t want to know.
e. The Fearful Manager
Among all the profiles, I would say this one is the least of them all. Like the name implies, this species is damn fearful of losing their job. As a result, they wouldn’t dare to cover their staffs’ back. The whole team can jump down the cliff for all he knows as long as his own arse is safe. In my years of working in the corporates, I have never reported to this kind of leaders but I have heard about them.
Truth be told, The Fearful Manager is the least demanding as compared to the others. They don’t threaten like the rest although they seldom make it to the rank of top management. Among all the profiles, I think they are less psychotic and their main goal is merely to be safe.
3. You Hate Your Job
If you are in the job market long enough, you might come across a job that you really hate. Your boss is good and understanding. Your colleagues are nice but you just have to accept the fact that you hate the job. Even going through a Sunday’s evening becomes a chore because Monday is just around the corner.
I remember getting a job in a billiard joint when I was 17 years old. The boss was nice during the interview and the pay was good for a teenager. But once I started working, I just can’t tolerate the rowdy crowd that came into the joint. Their smoking pissed me off and the very thought of having to serve these “baboons” was simply degrading. I quit on the very first day.
Many brilliant people have little choice but to quit their job after being hit by a critical illness. Now, don’t be so quick to tune this off. Cancer cases are getting younger and more rampant. I have personally come across the career of two formerly healthy C-suiter came to a nasty halt after being hit by stage 4 cancer. One got hit at the colon and the other at the pancreas. No employers will wait for you to recover because the treatments are long. The better ones might offer you a good severance package.
5. Away From Home
If you have never worked away from home, you will never comprehend the feeling. The heaviness is made worse if you have your loved ones staying some 400 km away from where you are working and you only get to meet them once every fortnightly. Some well wishers might advised you to relocate your whole family but there were numerous considerations like finding new schools for your kids. Can you imagine the ordeal your kids have to endure when even adults have difficulties adjusting to a new environment?
6. You Don’t Trust Your Company
Somehow, you don’t feel safe working in these companies. Your gut feeling keeps telling you that your future is not guaranteed. And you know your inner voice is right when you are reluctant to take over your boss position if he/she retires one day.
Such feeling usually surface when you can’t adjust into the company’s culture. Imagine a loner who can but tolerate a limited amount of team work was suddenly forced to work regularly with different functional departments in a new company. Now putting this into perspective, imagine being in the shoes of a Business Unit Manager who needs to work with the HQ’s Finance, HR and Purchasing because his/her business unit is not big enough to have its own functional departments. You need to work with these guys for your BU to move forward.
7. Corporate Changes
In the current era of economic instability, corporate maneuvers are becoming a common norm. Mergers and acquisitions are the call of the day for any companies to expand into new market share. When a company acquire a competitor, the goal is to gain new market capitalization and strategic savings. Now, ask yourself. If you are in charge of a multi million dollar buyout of another company, where do you find immediate savings? I would go for the workforce. I might not need two HR manager or two purchasing departments to run two companies.
The whole purpose of this post is to warn you that anything can derail your job. Your boss who was your mentor could retire or even lost his job for the same reasons discussed in this blog post. You might be pretty comfortable right now or maybe, you are already getting that jittery feeling of losing your job. Start an online business, maybe start a blog. If you are willing to invest some time and money, you might even learn some simple ways to earn some cash and boost your self worth. You are not an employee but an entrepreneur. In this dot com era, you offer your service and skills for a good deal, not for cheap wages.
God bless you.