March 06, 2010

What would happen if you quit today?

This question occured to me the other day as part of a moment of self-reflection/analysis. It turns out that it's a very good question for self-criticism and thinking about yourself in terms of your career, both as far as options go and trying to understand how others see you.
To perform this exercise, imagine that you walked into your bosses office and handed him a letter of resignation. Don't even think about WHY you would do this, especially during a recession - just imagine it says "Effective immediately, I resign my position. Signed, You"

What would your bosses first reaction be? Try to be as truthful as possible with yourself. Now, if that honest answer doesn't include your boss asking what he can do to change your mind, you've got a problem..whether the problem is with you or your company's situation. See, if you're not someone he needs to try to keep, what's to stop him from getting rid of you all by himself.

If your honest evaluation is that he would try to keep you, then ask yourself why and go from there.

Each of us who are employees have a duty to bring value to the company we work for, and not just be some form of replaceable labor. Your value can come from anything, whether it be your personality, your dedication, your knowledge, your leadership, etc.... But note that it has to come from you, not the job you do. If you don't bring unique STUFF to your job, you can be replaced, and that's not a position you want to be in with your employer when times get rough.

I'd go so far to say that probably half of us are in this boat. A self-evaluation will help you think about and understand where you stand. If you were your boss, why would you keep you? If you wouldn't, what can you do to improve your position?

It's too easy to show up for work every day with the attitude that you just need to get through just one more week until Friday. Instead, you should be thinking about how you can bring new value to your company this week. If you attack your career in such a way, then success is all but guaranteed, for you and your employer (which cycles right back to you). As you improve others, you improve yourself, and others can tell the difference between those who are constantly adding value and those who just survive.

And as a last point...they won't tell you which they think of you until that moment that you resign or they have to lay you off. Don't let yourself be surprised - self-evaluate now.


Anonymous said...

You have to express more your opinion to attract more readers, because just a video or plain text without any personal approach is not that valuable. But it is just form my point of view

Rich Gautier said...

Point taken - When I first started this blog, I was almost unafraid in the things that I said or the opinions that I voiced. Over the years, I have become very careful in voicing my opinion, worried about who I might offend, and considering that employers or others may read these comments when evaluating me personally.

I'll definitely take this under advisement.

Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to getting more information about this topic, don't worry about negative opinions.