Regardless of what’s currently happening with COVID-19, today’s reader’s note might hit home for many.
Hi Sharlyn. I’m seeking advice for my husband, who is the CFO for a mid-sized company. Without going into much detail here, he’s been under chronic stress since last year when his company underwent a merger. He’s no stranger to working hard/smart, digging in when duty calls, etc. However, since the merger he’s been working crazy hours and can’t keep up.
I believe he’s in a toxic environment and there are trust issues within the executive leadership team. He’s hit an all-time low and I’m at a loss for how else to support him. We have a young family and I do my best to keep everything afloat for us both (with a full-time job myself), but honestly, I’m drowning now, too.
Personally, he wants and NEEDS to resign. Is this something you can offer guidance on? I believe this is now beyond our ability to navigate. Thank you SO MUCH for anything you can provide.
Given what’s going on right now, some of you might be saying that the last thing you’re thinking about is changing jobs. I totally understand. But there are companies hiring today. And they’re looking for the best talent. So, making the decision to change jobs remains a very personal one.
There are three things that I would suggest to someone who’s trying to make the decision about changing jobs. I can’t answer these questions, but I do think the answers will help someone figure it out for themselves.
- Your job is impacting your health. First and foremost, if your job is making you physically or emotionally sick, you need to step back and think. There are jobs where risks do exist, and individuals take those roles knowing that. Jobs in health care, construction, etc. come to mind. Individuals in these industries also know the preventative measures they need to take to stay healthy.
- Your work doesn’t make you happy anymore. This could be one of two things: 1) You love what you do but you don’t love the company (or your boss) anymore. OR 2) You’ve fallen out of love with the work. Maybe you used to love traveling as part of your job and now, not so much. It’s important to understand which one you’re dealing with. (NOTE: It’s also possible that the answer is both #1 and #2.)
- Your career doesn’t make financial sense. I don’t want to simply say that the job doesn’t pay enough. Because maybe the pay is fine. It’s possible that the benefits package doesn’t suit your current situation. Or the cost of maintaining your professional license is getting expensive and the company isn’t reimbursing. The question is “Does your current position adequately cover your living situation?”
Once you honestly answer the above questions, it might help you decide if you want to make a change AND more importantly, what you might want to make a change to. There is some truth to the saying that the best time to look for a new job is when you have a job. I realize not everyone gets that opportunity which is why it can make some sense to always be thinking about your job wants and needs.
If you’re thinking about a new opportunity, I want to give you something else to consider. Now is the time to start planning. Don’t wait until you have to make a move to start planning for it. Here are three action steps that will help you find your next job.
Put together a job search plan. Grab a notebook and start plotting your strategy. Think about your transferrable skills. Make note of the knowledge and skills you want to work on before starting to interview. List your must-haves and nice-to-haves for your next company and job. Start thinking about your professional network – both the online one and the in-person one.
Identify the resources you need. It’s possible that you would benefit from taking a class, joining a professional group, or reading some books. Make a list of everything you need and roughly how much it will cost. Start budgeting for these items. Also think about if you will be out of work for a while and if you will need to cover health insurance in-between jobs. That needs to be budgeted as well.
Ask for support. Once you have a plan, reach out to your network. Start reconnecting with them. If you’ve been doing that all along – fantastic! If you haven’t, it will take some time before you can ask for favors. Also, be sure to speak with your family and make sure they’re prepared to support you through this transition. Changing jobs will impact them too.
Regardless of where you are in your career and what’s going on in the economy, the job search process is hard. It takes time. The best suggestions I can give someone is to think about why you’re considering a change and create a plan to get from where you are to what you want. The worst thing someone can do is react too quickly and find themselves in another toxic workplace. I know that the current work situation is tough but remember it’s the tough you know.
Have a plan and work the plan. It will create success for you.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring the streets of Salt Lake City, UT15