Yesterday I did it. I took action. I did what I set out to do. I put things in motion. I got on with it, got started, made things happen.
It was not traumatic. It was almost yawn inducing. No hysterics, no crying, no wailing or shrieking. It just happened. It was acknowledged and that…was that. Everything just kept moving forward, almost like it never happened. I found this interesting, if not a bit disheartening…nor was it surprising.
One usually likes to feel they matter, that they are valued; that they have impact on their surroundings. Not so in my case, I guess. The environment I am leaving behind isn’t even rippling across the surface. After seven years. I find this sad.
Myriad articles, philosophies, and psychologies exist as to why a person leaves a job. Here are a few from www.BusinessKnowHow.com/manage/whyquit.htm (5/8/12).
- Management doesn’t have or take the time to clarify goals and decisions. Therefore, it rejects work after it was completed, damaging the morale and esteem of those who prepared it.
- Management promotes someone who lacks training and/or necessary experience to supervisor, alienating staff and driving away good employees.
- Management shows favoritism and gives some workers better offices, trips to conferences, etc.
- Management creates a rigid structure and then allows departments to compete against each other while at the same time preaching teamwork and cooperation.
Even in a down economy, people make the tough choice to leave a job. Why? According to Barbara Safani , (posted Jun 4th 2010) at AOL.jobs,
- Once heavy layoffs occurred at companies, many were forced to do more with less. Working in an environment that lacks the appropriate resources to get the job done is bound to take its toll. Many employers have not adequately engaged their employees or rewarded them with non-monetary incentives during the lean years — and as a result, some are now losing their star players.
- Some developed health issues that were exacerbated by the job, and they determined that the only way to redeem their health was to resign from the position and take care of their physical issues.
- Many came to the realization that they weren’t learning anything new on the job and their chances for upward mobility were limited. Rather than waste away slowly, they made the decision to act on their concerns and re-channel their energy into finding a new, more rewarding position.
- People also leave jobs to start a family, take care of aging parents, travel around the world, relocate, or make a career change. Responsibilities to others or listening to an inner calling often fuel resignations.
But what resonates most with me is Business News Daily (www.businessnewsdaily,com; 5/8/12) that states:
While some might say they quit their job because they worked too many hours or didn’t get paid enough, new research shows the real reason people are looking for new jobs is they feel under-appreciated. (Emphasis mine)
In surveys by the American Psychological Association, half of all employees who said they did not feel valued at work also said they intend to look for a new job in the next year.
Overall, the research showed employees who do feel valued are more likely to have better physical and mental health and higher levels of engagement, satisfaction and motivation.
The study was based on surveys of more than 1,700 full- and part-time employees in the United States.
In the first group of reasons, Management can’t get their act together. No great surprise, I suppose. I like to think that if things don’t work well (or at all) the way they are set up now, wouldn’t you want find a better way? I would.
In the second group of reasons, work environments resulting from the economic downturn manifested abuse, health concerns, and decay upon those who ‘survived,’ if you can call it that.
In the last group of reasons, all else ‘business-focused’ takes precedence over person-hood and humanity.
What can we take away from these observations? I can state emphatically that management at the company I am leaving lacks several critical capabilities. These include endangering loyalty, or a team spirit; working with a proper sense of reward and recognition; considerable lack of employee development; and, lack of trust, just to name a few.
Further, I can attest to the abuse, health concerns, and decay that fester in a toxic work environment. I have been at the short end of all of these for the better part of my tenure, and am now battling to recover lost ground.
I liken this condition to a couple getting a divorce. After seven miserable years, she says, “I’m leaving.” He says, “Don’t go. I’ll be a better man starting now.” She says, ”Starting now? The knee jerk reaction to do/say what we believe to be expected comes forth as though it were auto-programmed in. Reactionary impulses such as this are simply too little, too late.
What makes it even sadder is that there was a seven–year window in which becoming better, finding a better way, taking a deeper (and harder) look, and facing the issues could have taken place. But, it didn’t.
What a monumental loss. My decision is to manage myself toward greatness in order to avoid abuse, health concerns, and decay, and value who I am and what I bring with the utmost care.
I urge you to do the same.