“Should I Quit My Job?” – The ONE Thing That Changed People’s Minds On The Verge of Resignation

Yolanda Yu Executive Coach Career Coach Resist resignation

Despite all the internet articles like “X signs that you should quit your job” or “When you should not quit your job,” resignation remains a difficult decision. It’s not all that clear. We may see many reasons to stay while can’t stop thinking about resignation.

Understand The Judgments Behind Your Emotions

Our rational judgment and feelings seem to be in conflict with each other:

Follow my heart? This heart has a history of being impulsive and inconsistent. Follow my head? How can I be happy to stay where I’ve been miserable?

Here’s the good news: we don’t have to choose just one. Instead, we should give both thorough considerations in order to make a wise decision. Emotions consist of very useful judgments that we often dismiss. See some examples below:

  • We feel helpless and victimized when we judge that nothing can change the current situation.

  • We feel sad and angry when we think others do not hold good intentions toward us: e.g., my manager does not give clarity despite seeing my struggles; my company favored someone else and passed me for promotion.

  • We feel shame as we judge ourselves as incompetent: e.g., I am ill-qualified for my job. I won’t be able to make it.

  • We feel fear as we judge the situation as threatening: e.g., I’ll lose my job when they find out I’m useless. I will be such a failure in everyone’s eyes.

Is Your Thought of Resignation a Fantasy?

It’s a miserable world when we live in these grim judgments and the negative emotions that follow. At the same time, our rational minds often forbid us from listening to them. That creates a lot of pain – we need to soothe ourselves. This is when fantasy comes in handy.

The fantasy of resignation and finding a better job offers safe heaven. It offers hope: I can be happier if the environment changes; It offers control: I can regain control of the situation. This fantasy supports many of us to persevere. To actually quit our job can mean surrendering, failure, and a lack of courage and resilience. A high achiever hates to become that. In this situation, the fantasy, or anesthesia, helps us cope.

But like all forms of escapism, the fantasy of resignation also harms. In this hideout of possibility, we refuse to face the mess in reality, or pull an effort to improve the situation. We might even escape from responsibility altogether: it’s not me, it’s them – the company is hopeless, the boss is not competent or supportive, I will never get promoted, etc.

The One Thing Many Found Helpful

If you recognize the above pattern and are ready for a change, here’s what I want to share with you: I have worked with many individuals caught in this paradox. No matter how helpless the situation seemed to be, many left our session knowing there was one thing they had yet to do. This one thing put smiles back on their faces. Some decided to stay, with a renewed happiness with their work and company. Some decided to leave, pursuing opportunities with confidence and determination.

The one thing is simple: have a REAL conversation with your company. If you think you have spoken with your manager, check if those count, against the following criteria.

👉🏽First, check your assumptions:

  • Do you expect your manager (or any authority) to be all-knowing and fully capable of their job?

  • Are you convinced that your circumstances are obvious for anyone to see? And that your company is not proactively solving your problem because they do not want to?

  • Are you upset about your broken relationship and lack of trust with your manager?

👉🏽 Consider some possibilities here:

  • Your boss perhaps is indeed not that competent – he/she is also on a learning journey.

  • Your manager has to deal with a complex system that is not visible to you and is different from yours.

  • Your manager does not know all your struggles, or, may even have no clue.

  • Your manager has all the good intentions to make things work out for you, improve your work condition, and retain you in your job. Because it helps them, too.

👉🏽 Reach out with openness

  • Share with your manager what you are going through and what is not working for you. It’s important to be open and clear here. Many people are afraid of being seen as a cry-baby when they “whine.” But if you are able to bring also what will work for you, and stay constructive and optimistic, then clear communication will only help to foster understanding and build trust.

  • To understand the position your manager is in and hear his limitations. Ask questions. Have empathy.

  • Be open to rebuilding trust.

  • Be creative and collaborative in finding new solutions.

  • Have a growth mindset for your manager, yourself, and your situation. Things could and will change.

portrait_Yolanda Yu_YL_r

Empowering Change From Within

Career & Leadership Coach, Start-up Mentor, and two-time Penguin Author, Yolanda has over 20 years’ corporate experience and served leadership positions in world top technology companies such as Alibaba, Visa, and Mastercard.

From software engineer to sales, headhunter, entrepreneur, to business leader in eCommerce and Fintech industries, Yolanda reinvented her career for countless times. She specializes in tailored coaching programs for professionals in the phases of career change and leadership transition.

Yolanda is particularly passionate about equipping technical leaders with leadership skills. She delivers leadership 101 courses through group coaching and 1:1 engagement.