I had a session with one of my clients who is considering a job change. I have met many in the same situation but this time I decided to share my thoughts on this subject, perhaps to help at least one person who may need this. Should one leave their current job or not? This is a question that leaves many at crossroads. Even though their deepest feelings and desires tell them ‘Yes, please move on’, they still hesitate. Why do we do so? FEAR We all know this is caused by FEAR. Fear of the ‘unknown’ and fear of ‘what if I fail’. Have you ever experienced this? What did you do?
I experienced this several years back when I was contemplating resigning from a job that paid me well and had very good prospects had I been patient. I started to feel that there was more to life, more that wanted to come out of me, more that was waiting to be born. Only, if I took the leap of faith and left my comfort zone. The sleepless nights I spent were many, agonizing whether it was the right thing to do and whether it was the right time to leave.
Here is what I used, to help me finally make the decision inspired by Ben Carson’s book.
1. What is the BEST thing that could happen if I stayed on?
2. What is the WORST thing that could happen, if I stayed on?
3. What is the WORST thing that could happen if I resigned?
4. What is the BEST thing that could happen if I resigned?
I realized the BEST thing that could happen for me at that time was a job promotion to the next grade which funny enough after more soul searching, realized it wouldn’t make me happy. I continued to find ask myself, ‘What if your pay was doubled? Would you be happy? Would you stay? My answers shocked me. I felt deep within me I wouldn’t stay and that I wouldn’t necessarily be happy. The worst thing if I stayed, I figured would be I’d be in the same position, doing the same job, earning the same money. This didn’t give me a feeling of excitement.
The worst thing that could happen if I left was, I would loose my source of income and that would affect my lifestyle. I would have to either move back home or live with my friends (hoping they would be fine accommodating me, for who knows how long?) With this realization, I quickly asked myself the next question, ‘What would I do if I got to this situation’? I knew I would look for a job again, even if it meant explaining my ‘foolish’ move out of previous role. In my heart I knew that my curiosity would be satisfied, I’d be able to say,’ I tried but it didn’t work’. The BEST thing that could happen to me if I resigned was BLANK. I didn’t know what that could really be. I knew the bigness of it would be way beyond my imagination. In my finances, influence, reach, abilities, skills etc. The interesting thing about this discovery intuitively made me know what the right decision was going to be at that time.
I later resigned, but guess what? The fear was still there. It had not gone away. Looking with hindsight as a deep coach, I am beginning to understand that with awareness, I can choose to embrace and walk with fear by my side and still do what I feel I have been called to do in that moment.
Back to my client, we did this simple exercise together and at the end of the session when I asked her whether there was anything that stood out for her. She quickly said ‘Yes, I am surprised that I am holding onto nothing much’. I have a feeling she may change jobs, not certain though. Let’s wait and see. Only time will tell. Either choice will work as well, for as long as she answers these questions from her heart level and not the mind.
What about you? What is your story?