Human Resources Today

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Should I Leave My Job?

A few weeks ago, we talked about a better way to quit your job when you just can’t handle it, rather than making a scene or spectacle. Spectacles aside, what if the reason you leave isn’t necessarily because you can’t stand your current job? As I dig into my first few weeks at exaqueo, I can’t help but reflect on how I arrived here and share the knowledge I gained through my most recent job switch, and the question I asked myself: "Should I leave my job?"

I left my last few jobs for amazing opportunities, all in line with my personal goals. It was heart wrenching to go into the offices of those who mentored me…gave me every opportunity to learn and grow…and explain to them that I was leaving. I’ll never forget what the President of one of my former companies asked me after I shared with him that I was leaving to pursue a new opportunity – “is this something you are walking towards or walking away from?”

What an interesting question. I hadn’t thought about it that way. Of course, from his perspective, if this was a job I was walking away from, he wanted to know why, and if there was anything he could have done better to keep me there. I was lucky to have an employer who cared enough to ask. It takes a strong leader to put himself in this vulnerable position and be open to criticism of a company he built.

This question has a lot of power.

Marketers constantly try to get into the heads of their customers. Employers should be doing the same, and get into the heads of their employees. With employee engagement at an all time low (according to Gallup), this question should be something leaders and managers ask themselves from the perspective of their employees, well before they are faced with someone leaving. Is there anything about my company - or the way that I manage - that may cause a high performer to walk away and is within my control? Are there consistencies among staff sentiment around our culture that may have a negative impact that I can get ahead of?

Anticipating these needs is important since we all know it’s extremely expensive to ignore them (according to Fast Company, roughly $370 Billion to be exact). This is especially important in startup and high-growth companies where the business is always evolving.

Sometimes people leave because it’s just not a good fit, and that’s valuable information to know from an employer perspective, so the next new hire IS a good fit. And sometimes, an employee leaves because of an amazing opportunity, and there’s nothing you could have done. If you have to lose employees, those are the kinds you want to lose.

As for me, joining exaqueo was something I walked (leaped!) towards. I’m very excited to join the team and contribute to this growing, inspiring company.


Lexi Gordon is a Lead Consultant for exaqueo, a workforce consultancy that helps startups and high-growth companies build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact exaqueo to learn more about how we can help you build a workforce that’s aligned with your company culture and develop an employer brand that will allow your business to scale the right way.




There's a Better Way to Quit Your Job

Another day, another viral video of a frustrated, tired employee quitting a job in a dramatic fashion.  First there was the chute-sliding JetBlue flight attendant and then the brash marching band incident followed by the forthright op-ed from the ex-Goldman Sachs employee. And now there’s the dancing video producer who’s simply had enough.

In her case she claimed the work environment in Taiwan wasn’t bearable. So why not just move on? Or better yet, look for work opportunities in countries where employment laws and work environments generally tend to be a bit more supportive of work-life balance?

If only we could all vent this way. About everything. 

Public displays of resignation are entertaining and attention-getting. But they won’t take you anywhere except on the 15-minutes-of-fame-train. Look, we’ve all been there. I’ve had bosses throw things at me, yell, and storm out in temper tantrums. But employment is free will. And if you’re quitting anyway (meaning you’re not stuck in the job to feed your family), why behave like a toddler just looking for attention? I’m all for creative and sticking-it-to-the-man when deserved, but no one looks back on a tantrum with pride.

There’s a better way to quit your job if you just can’t take it anymore.

First, assess the situation.

Is your misery project or person related, but you love much about your company and co-workers? See if there’s an opportunity to move departments. It could be that management is well aware of your difficult boss (but she brings in too much business or is too tenured to fire). Not that it makes it right to keep the boss in seat, but without sharing confidential information, management could reward you for just asking for another opportunity internally.

If it’s systematic, then you may want to leave. When the entire founding team is behaving badly, or emulating a model of work-life balance you find deplorable, that’s a sign. And if your health or family life is being affected? That’s a sure sign. But only you can decide–and define–what behavior and cultural attributes are enough to make you quit.

Second, devise a plan and a timeline.

Consider current work you don’t want to leave unfinished and aim to help provide a smooth transition.  For example, you may despise your boss, but you don’t want to leave your reliable co-workers with a difficult situation. Then start laying the ground work (confidentially) with your network to get a sense of how hard it will be to find a new job so you’re financially prepared to be unemployed for a specific period of time. It’s important to know that even if you give two weeks notice, a company could ask you to leave on the spot–always be prepared for this...

Read the rest of this post over on Tech Cocktail.


This post originally appeared on TechCocktail written by Susan LaMotte, the founder of exaqueo. A workforce consultancy, exaqueo helps startups and high-growth companies build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you build a workforce that’s aligned with your company culture and develop an employer brand that will allow your business to grow in the right way.



Quitting Is Good For Your Brand

I can say no to camping, spicy food and bug retrieval.  But yet I can't seem to say no to work.And when I take on something else, the only thing left to cut seems to be sleep.  With toothpicks propping open my eyes today after a paltry 5 hours of sleep last night, I'm reminded that quitting can be a good thing.

In 2005 I went back to get my MBA at Vanderbilt. Two music, bacon and case-study filled years later, I finished but had a hard time letting go of Nashville. This Philly girl loved, loved, loved the city and being back in school. So I couldn't resist when they asked for my help leading the Alumni Council.  I give back, looks great on a resume, and I have the privilege of attending the Alumni Board meetings with some pretty amazing alumni. But I just quit. Yep, I am a quitter.  I was feeling bad about it until Stephen Dubner told me (and all of radio land) that it's not such a bad thing.

Inn my role as Alumni Council President, I launched an alumni-led survey and gave some fantastic feedback to the school. I reached out to my own class and shared some cool ideas to energize others. But this year, frankly, I've sucked at my job. I'm taking longer to respond to email requests for help, and I haven't been innovative, interesting or proactive in the least.

I felt bad about quitting, but after the Freaknomics therapy, I realized it's actually better for my brand.  When you overcommit, you take away from something. And no matter what that something is--family, hobbies, day job--you feel guilty about it. And that hurts your brand.  For me it was sleep. And when I'm tired, I'm super cranky and I don't think well.  Which is important since a big chunk of what I do involves strategy and innovation.

So while I hate to let the responsibility go, I know in the long run it's better for me, better for my brand and for Vanderbilt. I can sleep tonight knowing that giving up breadth of focus means I'm getting much more depth.  And it's the depth of the brand that matters. Sounds caffeinating to me.

Image: Idea go /