The CEO said to me last week: “If people are so unhappy, why don’t they leave?”
I shrugged. Because I don’t know why people stay in jobs that are wrong for them. In work environments that are toxic. In places they don’t grow.
(For that matter, I don’t know why people stay in neighborhoods they hate married to people they loathe driving a car that makes them crazy, either.)
I am here to tell you - in general, people tolerate way too much.
And it’s weird.
Maybe we tolerate way too much every single damn day because down deep we think we’re not powerful enough to change things.
Or we’re not sure we’re really so unhappy. We worry that maybe we’re misinterpreting things. Or maybe we’re the whining and complaining crybabies our big brothers always said we were.
And then there’s “this economy”, which always seems to be spoken of in an anchorman’s voice, like some gigantic warning of looming danger.
But maybe it’s really because we’re terrified of change. What if we do go through all the trouble to do something different and… it’s worse!
These are the big fears people share with me.
I’d like to give you one fact and one idea to consider if there’s something you’re putting up with day after grueling day, and can’t seem to find the heart to do anything about.
That means now is the best time in years to find a new job.
(It also means that now is the best time in years to ask for a raise because brass will have to pay more to retain the best talent.)
(If they haven’t gotten this message yet, they will as soon as they can’t fill a key position.)
Now for that idea I was telling you about.
Idea: Professional baseball players suit up for a game in the uniform of the team they play for. Whether they’re a National or a Diamondback or a Mariner, they wear the colors and play for the team – knowing full well that even in the middle of the game they can get a call saying they’ve been traded to another team.
And the next day, even though it might be hard, they suit up in an entirely new uniform and play for the new team.
For these professionals, it’s less about the team and more about the position they play. They know they can – and will – be a great first baseman for any team.
This is what you need to understand.
Rather than consider your employment as a lifetime commitment you cannot break, think about it as a baseball team. As long as you play for them, you’re going to hustle and do a good job. But you can – and will – do an equally good job for any other team.
Because you are a very good first baseman.
When you need a change, make a change.
There is no need to tolerate a sick workplace. There is no need to fear something new.
There is only opportunity in the economy right now.
It’s time to get in the game.