Tip of the Month, September 2019 – Tips on the How of Staying or Going

Do you have an emergency communication plan and a “go” bag? These are the things people should think through and pack for any number of situations that could happen in life. I live in wild-land fire country, and I know first hand what it is to need to escape with the most important and irreplaceable things for my life.
In a similar vein, do you have an emergency plan in case you need to leave your work/job in a hurry? Seriously, hopefully no one reading this will be met one day with a security guard, packing boxes and an order to exit your workplace within the hour. But we know these things do happen. Not my company, you think. But maybe, in your company, you are getting the impression that you should leave, for a variety of reasons.
In our latest blog post, Should I Stay or Should I Go?, Thunderbird author Rory Gilbert discussed reasons for staying, and leaving, a job or a workplace. Her focus was the decision-making process and what to consider. In this month’s Tips, we will address some of the practical issues once the staying or leaving has been decided.

  1. Develop the stamina to stay. You have decided it is better to stay, even though the situation has some negatives. The positives are stronger. Many of the following ideas come from the blogs of Natasha Stanley at CareerShifters.org and Darcy Eikenberg at RedCapeRevolution.com.

Rather than changing your work or job, plan to change your life at work.

  • View this agreement with yourself to stay as a decision “for the time being”. You can revisit it at any time. Set and calendar a date to review your decision, perhaps six months out.
  • Identify the positive elements of your workplace or job and focus on them rather than the negative aspects. Write them down. Post them in front of you.
  • Increase the excitement and engagement of your work by asking your manager or leader for new opportunities.
  • Step up or volunteer to take the leadership on a situation you would like to see changed.
  • Find people outside your workplace that you can share your frustrations with.
  • Make sure that you take care of yourself. Get adequate sleep, eat well, exercise, plan for social support. And strive to keep your life stress free.
  1. Decide to leave, believing that it’s time to move on. But before you go, there are many things you should consider. A great article from a Reddit post, cited in Rory’s blog, provides many useful suggestions. We have excerpted some of the more common ones here, and you can find a link to access the complete article in the references.
  • If it is your choice to go you should have a firm, written job offer in hand. Don’t leave without one. Know what you will do if your employer makes a counteroffer. How “good” would it have to be to make you change your decision? If you accept a counteroffer, make sure you have it in writing.
  • Copy performance reviews, certifications, other personal documents that you’ll want to keep (eg, awards, honors) as well as your salary and benefit information. Do not make copies of any work performed, without permission. This is considered the equivalent of stealing.
  • Don’t burn bridges. Maintain a professional demeanor throughout the process.
  • Do not share the fact of your leaving with coworkers and friends before informing your manager and Human Resources.
  1. If your leaving is a result of a forced termination, such as a layoff or firing, take these actions to help yourself through the process. And remember to take care of yourself.
  • Apply for unemployment benefits as soon as possible. The process can take weeks. Address other financial matters such as continuing life insurance, health insurance, and managing employer-sponsored retirement accounts.
  • Be super-frugal about every bit of unnecessary spending. You don’t know how long your financial resources will last.
  • Remind yourself that you do have a job; your job is finding a new job, and you need to devote the time and intensity you would spend at work on this effort.

No matter if you stay or go, you will find yourself in the process of change, and change is hard, even when we’re in the driver’s seat. Be patient with yourself. You probably have friends, family members and colleagues who have been through a similar situation. They may have great advice for YOU, because they know you. Reach out to them.
If an employee assistance program is available use it for support. An EAP is a confidential resource. Seeking out a mentor or a coach is another useful option during this process. Using all the resources you can and accepting help is not a weakness; it is a sign that you are determined to get through the process in the very best way you can. Isn’t that the advice you would give a friend? Why not be that friend to yourself. Good luck!
https://www.careershifters.org/expert-advice/how-to-survive-a-job-you-hate-but-cant-leave-yet, accessed online 8-23-19.
https://redcaperevolution.com/secrets-to-stay-or-leave-your-job/, accessed online 8-23-19.
https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/comments/6g146m/be_prepared_if_youre_resigning_or_quitting_have/, accessed online 8-23-19.