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:
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?”
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?”
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.
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?”
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?”
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.