Last Friday, I watched again, as another colleague (this one who had been there three times as long as me) quit her job and walk out on our company. It was disheartening. What made it even worse was that this person was the fifth employee in the exact same position over the past two years.
Could it be the direct manager that is the problem with this particular position? Probably. But for me, I think it strikes at an even bigger problem: that the entire organization may be in trouble. Possibly, because if middle management isn’t working right, is upper management working right?
Whether leadership at my company is incompetent, mean-spirited, or worst of all, apathetic, I believe there’s a point in time when we all must think about leaving a company if the good people are walking out the door, and the very best don’t stay long.
Three hallmark signs it’s time to go
Watch for the following.
1. The extended stay of apathy – are you checked out of your job? That’s one of the very worst things that can happen. If you’re on autopilot and the passion is gone, or your personal values don’t match what is valued at work, it’s time to look elsewhere, period.
2. Disastrous dealings with the boss – does the sight of your immediate manager make you anxious, nervous, sweaty, and/or angry? When he calls, do you feel less inclined to pick up the phone? Worst of all, are you feeling defeated, ready to give up, from throwing out so many cool ideas to him and receiving a poor reception? Bad performance review? You could try finding another manager at your company, but be warned: if your current bad boss hired you, he most likely isn’t going to like (or support) your defection.
3. No inspiration at the top – If you can’t believe in the leadership at your company, be inspired by them, want to be a better employee because of them, that’s just another nail in the coffin. If you have no one supporting your department and your work at the top, pound in another nail. Run, don’t walk in that case, because if the leaders at the helm can’t get it right, you’ll never be able to get it right either.
The good news
Here’s the good news in all of this: the economy is getting stronger again. Unemployment is down. Companies are hiring again. So if you feel any of the big three signs above for an extended period of time, now might be a good time to start looking for something better, greater, and more inspiring. Besides, the world needs more from you and me.