Frustrated? Give Your Boss A Chance
Before You Quit Your Job, Try These Solutions
BY MARK HALLORAN
These infamous words should be well thought out before you voice them to your boss. Though quitting should only follow a carefully weighed decision, too often it is a hasty response to months, even years, of mounting frustration. Do you feel like you're a volcano of job dissatisfaction headed for an imminent eruption? Before you blow your top, there are steps you should take to release that building pressure.
If you feel that your career is out of your control and crashing fast, start managing the crisis by first addressing your own needs. Hey, airlines give you the same instructions about the deployment of oxygen masks in flight, so there must be something to it. Ask yourself what you want from your job and your career. Take a look at your original job description and expectations and compare them to what you do now. Do they match up? Now divide your daily work activities into two categories based on your objectives: relevant and non-relevant. Next, list the causes of your aggravations at work and be honest about any internal causes (those stemming directly from you). Finally, jot down potential solutions. An objective ear and experienced guide can be invaluable throughout this process, so you might want to make an excellent investment and spend a few hours with a career counselor. With this insightful information, you're prepared to start addressing your job dilemmas rather than just reacting to them.
You make change happen
Now that you have a viable map of your current career, ask yourself what you are prepared to do to improve your situation. If your answer is to sit tight and hope that your boss will eventually notice your tactfully concealed disappointment and solve your personal issues for you, then you're taking the wrong path. You can't expect your employer to do your career counseling for you. The majority of today's organizations are so focused on their products or services that they regularly overlook the employees who produce them. Many departments work daily at an adrenaline-pumping pitch, operating in that all too common fire-fighting mode caused by poor organization and inadequate resources. In these environments, employers tend to assume that everything is fine as long as clients are receiving the goods and employees are doing their jobs. Well, you happen to know that is not the case, right? You're the one being personally affected, right? It is your responsibility to get proactive. Forget fate. You should never leave any aspect of your career to chance. If you want your situation to change, YOU have to change your situation.
Your next step demands that you embrace one simple, irrefutable, workplace truth: to be successful in your career you must meet regularly with your supervisor to address your job performance and mutual expectations. Performance reviews are not your only opportunity to run a career diagnostic. While most companies talk a good game about setting long term job guidelines and performance expectations, they still operate on a day-to-day basis. The demands of your position may change as the company adjusts within the competitive marketplace. While enabling you to identify flags long before they turn red, regular meetings with your supervisor will help you keep your job position current and valuable to the organization.
Talking about solutions
Now that you're ready to have a thoughtful discussion about your role in the company and the problems that exist in the workplace, arrange a meeting. You've done your homework. Instead of a rant or eruption, you're now facing a dialogue between two prepared people. Your boss should be able to give you relevant feedback about your position within the context of the overall organization and its current objectives. In exchange, you will be providing information needed to efficiently manage and maximize available resources. Once you understand each other, the two of you can decide what changes are needed to align your interests with those of the company and to determine if solutions are feasible.
Will this be a productive meeting that solves all of your problems? Since our world isn't stocked full of super-managers and ?ommunicators, maybe not. However, these discussions will ensure that whatever decision you ultimately make will be an informed one. You can then choose to stay or "go off" in your chosen direction. That is what separates us from the volcanoes.
Before you say goodbye, give your boss a chance.
Mark Halloran is president and founder of Cobblestone Human Capital, a comprehensive career management and HR solutions firm. Visit www.cobblestonepath.com.