6 reasons you want to quit

It was the morning of June 24th, 2016. To others, it was just another summer day in Phoenix. To me; it was the last day at my previous job. The job that provided me with stability and a secure source of income for the previous six years.

That morning, I quickly crafted a writing and posted it on Linkedin. The writing was short, impromptu, and simply explained why I was leaving without anything else lined up.

To my surprise, this writing quickly received more views that any other writing that I’ve posted on Linkedin. In fact, it has 4x more views than my next highest performing article.

To me, this tells a story.

The story being told is about the general relationship that people have with work. I think that most people are unhappy with some element of their job. Often we don’t have a true understanding of the element, but we know that something isn’t right. We look for inspiration in others and want to know how they will survive without a job. Because deep down, so many of us want to walk that same path.

I’ll tell you taking a sabbatical is incredible, however, it doesn’t address the root cause for wanting to quit. If you want to quit, something is missing. Period.

In my own search for understanding satisfaction in work, I developed my own framework. This framework focuses on asking yourself questions within six specific categories. These categories are Responsibility, Education, Action, Salary, Opinion, and Network. This framework, which I have dubbed “REASON”.

This framework will help you understand what is missing. It does this through self-reflection, within the six categories. Here they are:

Responsibility

It’s imperative to understand what you are responsible for in your position. Without an understanding of this, it’s far too easy to get lost in the minutia.

Ask yourself questions about your responsibilities. Questions such as “Do I fully understand the scope of my responsibilities?” and “Do my responsibilities align with my personal goals?”

Education

You should never be in a position that makes you stop learning. Continuing education is one of the biggest motivators in life. If you aren’t learning, you aren’t growing.

Ask yourself: “Am I learning anything in my current position?” and “How do these skills prepare me for what comes next?”

Action

How does every modern action movie begin? It always begins with a huge impact. An impact is important as it allows you to see how your actions relate to the big picture.

Ask yourself: “Do I understand how my actions impact the company?” and “If I quit today, what actions would need to be taken to replace me?” Hint – You don’t want to be easily replaced.

Salary

Everyone loves making more money. It should be as simple as telling your boss the reasons that you deserve more, and they, being a great human should oblige. Right?Yeah… the real world doesn’t work that way. You need to have an idea of the bigger picture and understand where you fit in.

Ask yourself: “Am I paid fairly and in accordance with the local market for my position?”, “How does my salary compare to the total revenue of the company”, and “Do I understand how to increase my salary, or move to a higher paying position?”

Opinion

Want to frustrate someone? Ask them for their opinion, tell them they are right, then take the opposite action. Do that enough times, and eventually, the other person will stop providing their input and opinion. Nobody wants to feel like his or her opinion is fully invalid.

Ask yourself: “Does my boss/colleagues listen when I offer my opinion?” and “Would it make a difference If I stopped providing my input?”

Network

Having the right people in your work life can make a major difference in your job satisfaction. Everyone needs their own “tribe”, but more importantly, they need understand how to deliver value to those around them.

Ask yourself: “What value do I bring to my work network?”, “Is there anyone at work that I want to mold my career after” and, “Do I have access to this person?”

The above questions are nothing more than examples. You can ask yourself any question within the REASON elements, as long as they directly relate to the specific element. Any questions where the answer is “no” or “unsure” need to be further speculated upon.

This is, of course, just the first step in the process. They hardest part is having the conversations and taking action to make a change.

It’s about the journey

Do you remember the last road trip that you took before entering the working world as an adult? What do you remember about that trip? Do you remember the way that it felt when you placed your hand out the window as the cool night air passed through your fingers? Do you remember the music that was playing as you and your fellow travelers sung along, albeit out of key? What about the scenery? What do you recall about the landscape as you drove through a country road?

Most importantly, do remember the camaraderie that you and your travelers shared on that trip?

It’s about the journey.

It doesn’t matter where you start or where you end when it comes to a road trip. What’s important is the journey. It’s an experience. It’s the process in between the start point and the end point that makes a road trip memorable. Without that, a road trip would be nothing.

Yet, in the working world, the emphasis is on getting “it” done. Whatever “it” may be. We are so focused on simply getting to the end of a process. We want to know when will “this” be done? How much money are we going to make? How much longer is this meeting? Insert any phrase that you will.

Shifting your viewpoint.

We cannot change the fact that this world operates in a model where the focus is on the end. What you can do is change your viewpoint about the process as a whole. Rather than being so focused on getting to the end of a project live in the moment and embrace it as it is.

Embrace the learning opportunities.

During the process is where mistakes are to be made. That’s a good thing. Without making mistakes and understanding failure, how can success be judged? Without learning from the past, we cannot appreciate the end results.

Appreciating Chaos

When you see a project as a whole, rather than looking to the finish line, you can see the errors, the bugs, and the chaos as it approaches from your peripheral vision. This makes it significantly easier to mitigate. Think of it as approaching a busy intersection. If you are focused on nothing more than making it across the street you are blind to what’s on the side. You won’t see the truck that is pummeling through the red light and approaching your vehicle at full speed.

On the other hand, when you see the event as a whole you know what’s coming in the moment. This gives you options; you can slam your brakes or speed up to allow the chaos to pass. You can also turn the wheel and take a completely different route to the destination. Often, the new route is the longer and full of new obstacles, but ultimately the proper course of action. You can appreciate the chaos for leading you to this route out of necessity.

Look around, not forward.

If you are overly stressed from a project and all you can see is the finish line, it’s time to stop. You need to look back and analyze the journey thus far. Think of the obstacles and the solutions you found to avoid them. Look around and see what is in the now. There is the only moment where you truly have control. This is where you can blaze a new trail, or analyze the obstacles that you currently face. Most importantly, this is where you remind yourself to enjoy the ride.

Are You WILLING To keep Your New Year’s Resolutions?

How to keep your resolutions

The year 2017 started a little over twenty-four hours ago. Within the next six days, 25% of all New Year’s resolutions will be completely pushed the side because of some obscure reason. It’s sad that 25% of the changes that we say will make never happen. Why is that?

I’m sure we could theorize about a million different reasons why people don’t stick with their resolutions. Everything from not having the time, not having the money, not having the freedom, not having the resources and much more. I see the real reason as being something far simpler. I see it as the way that we tell ourselves about the change that we plan to make. All statements about change can be made powerful or weak depending on the structure of the sentence.

Words have immense power. Just look at the impact that speechwriters and orators have had throughout history. When statements are crafted in a certain way we are poised to take action upon it. It’s similar to writing in an active voice versus a passive one.  Want to make an impact? Keep reading

I want.

The weakest of these statements is the “I want” phrase. This statement has no action involved. We want many things in life, however, wants are not typically acquired unless minimal effort is needed.

Example: I want to make $80k this year.

I’ll try:

This is a step better than the “want” statement. It implies doing something, however at less than your maximum effort. Trying is reserved for taking a bite of food. It’s nothing more than a sample.

Example: I’ll try to earn $80k this year.

Deadpool doesn’t try. He goes maximum effort.

I am willing / I am not willing.

I see these phrases as the most power. The imply that you are fed up with the old way and ready to take action and acquire your goal.

Example: I am willing to give up TV and invest my time into learning a revenue generating skill.

OR

Example: I am not willing to earn less than $80k this year.

In the first example, it states that something must be given up and something new acquired. The second example, to me, feels the most powerful. While it does not describe how this $80k per year will be earned, it states that the existing method is not working.

Next Step

Time Magazine has published the Top 10 completely broken New Year’s resolutions. It’s a safe bet that some of your resolutions are found here. What I want you to do is to take this list and rewrite it with “I want”, I’ll try”, “I am willing” and “I am not willing” statements.  Not surprisingly, the first one is “lose weight and get fit”. Let’s rewrite this one together.

I want to lose weight and be in better shape.

I’ll try to lose weight and be in better shape.

I willing to reduce my calorie count to 1800 per day to lost weight and be in better shape.

I am not willing to be overweight and out of shape.

Actually, let’s take a different approach on that last one. If we change this to “I am not willing to fit into a size 40 waist any longer.” It has a bit more of an impact. We can even combine the willing / not willing statements to create something even more powerful. Like this:

I AM NOT WILLING TO FIT INTO A SIZE 40 WAIST ANY LONGER. I AM WILLING TO REDUCE MY CALORIE COUNT TO 1800 PER DAY TO BE IN BETTER SHAPE.

Once you have modified the wording structure on the commonly failed resolutions, rewrite your own. Post them, share them, and ask someone to help keep your accountable.