154 The Link Up with Latesha : Signs It’s Time to Move On From Your Job

On the sixteenth installment of The Link Up with Latesha, our incredible host Latesha Byrd, founder of Byrd Career Consulting, shares a few signs of how to know when it’s time to leave your job. We spend over a third of our lives in our careers, so the importance of feeling valued and respected at work cannot be overstated.

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TRANSCRIPT

Latesha: What’s up, everyone? Welcome to The Link Up with Latesha on Living Corporate. This podcast is for young professionals that need some real advice, tips, and resources to navigate corporate America and dominate their career. If you’re looking to upgrade your brand, get the knowledge you need to level up professionally for your future, you are in the right place. I’m your host, Latesha Byrd. So let’s get into today’s episode. I am so excited to be speaking to you all today about this extremely timely and important topic, and I’ll share what it is in just a second. I’m going to build a little bit of suspense here and just talk about how long this year has been. I am so happy that we are in the final stretches of 2019. We are in the final stretches of a whole decade. I am ready for 2020. I am ready for a fresh start, a new beginning. This year has felt extremely long. It’s felt like it’s been two to three years, heck, even five years, wrapped up into one. I’ve had a lot of changes, a lot of transformations, a lot of growth and failures–which I like to call redirections instead–and yeah, this has been a very, very long year. It’s funny because every person that I’ve spoken with, from client to friend, we’re just feeling a little drained at this point, you know? I think we’re all ready, you know, for the year to just kind of wrap up. [laughs] So what I’m speaking to you all about today is how to know when it’s time to leave your job. In 2020, I don’t want anyone to have to settle for a job, have to settle in their career, for a paycheck, you know? Money is important. Paying our bills is important. And living a certain lifestyle, for some, is extremely important. However, you know, your emotional well-being is so significant, and I know if you guys have been listening to some former episodes, you know I speak on the topic of mental health here and there, and it’s so important that we take our mental health just as important as we do our physical health. This also means re-evaluating, re-assessing and checking in with ourselves as needed if we are in the right career, if we’re in the right job, if we are with the right company. As a career coach, I speak to people every single day that are unhappy in their jobs. They don’t feel like it’s rewarding. They don’t feel motivated to go to work every day. If you are so unhappy at your job to the point where it will eventually start to trickle into other areas of your life, that is an issue. You know, we spend over a third of our lives in our career, and over the span of our entire career we will work 90,000 hours at least. That’s a lot of… that’s a lot of hours. [laughs] That’s a lot of energy and time, and so I–if you follow me on Twitter, please do. It’s @Latesha_Byrd. I just tweet a lot of career advice regularly, and I’ve been doing some threads lately, and this thread got a ton of traction and a lot of people reaching out to me telling me that the thread really motivated them to take a hard look at themselves and their career and make some changes in their life, and so I thought it would be great as we are wrapping up this year, going into a new year, setting some new goals and just checking in with ourselves, to talk about some of these things, and so I want to give you all a few signs of how to know when it’s time to leave your job, all right? So I’ll go ahead and hop into it. The first one, I call it the Sunday night test. Do you dread Sunday evenings and try not to think about work? Like, you actually do everything possible [laughs] to distract you from thinking about it? You might not like your job. You really might not like your job. Sundays for me–Sunday is actually my favorite day of the week, but Sunday I spend a lot of time journaling and planning and prepping and just getting in the right mindset for the week. Not in the way of–not in the same manner as “Oh, I gotta get this week started, and man, I don’t want to go to work tomorrow. I don’t even want to think about it.” I’m actually excited to go, you know, into my week, my work week, and so it typically starts on Sundays for me. I was at an event, and after the event I was talking to a couple of women, and they asked me that question. They said, you know, “Teesh, how do you know if you like your job or not? What is the test?” And I said, “Well, how do you feel on Sundays? You know, how do you feel about the work week?” And her response, or one of the ladies’ responses was, “Ooh, I don’t even think about it.” Like, “I do everything possible to not think about it.” That could be a sure sign that you don’t like your job. So that’s #1. #2, and this is really, really important guys. Like, if you don’t take anything else from this today, please listen to this. The thought of going into work or as you driving to work or taking the train to work, you know, during your commute to work, your anxiety peaks just at the thought of going into work or actually, you know, being in transit on your way to work. You feel that anxiety creeping up. I would really challenge you to do some reflecting on that. Where is that anxiety coming from? And the other piece to that is you are jealous of others that you see love their work. You live for lunch breaks. 5 p.m. or the weekends, you know? I see a lot of people tweeting during the week where they’re like, “4:00. I just got one more hour left. I just got 30 minutes left,” you know? Or “Oh, it’s only 2:00 and I feel like I’ve been here for 12 hours.” [laughs] Look, I mean, I–let me tell you this though, ’cause I want to make sure that I’m being extremely transparent here. I love what I do. I don’t love what I do every single day. So I do have these moods, I will be honest with you, but the good definitely outweighs the bad here, you know? But if you find yourself going into work, dreading going into work, you feel anxiety going into work, you get there, you can’t wait for lunch. Lunch break is over? You can’t wait until you get off, and then you’re literally counting down–Tuesday and Wednesday you’re counting down to the weekend. It doesn’t have to be that way. It really doesn’t. That could be a sign that it is time to go. Next, you have no desire to move up. You feel that you are meant to do bigger and better, and you find yourself daydreaming often at work. Maybe it’s hard to stay focused. This could be a sign that you actually don’t like the work that you’re doing. You don’t want to do more of it. [laughs] If you have no desire to move up at your company, maybe you’re looking at your boss–maybe that could be, or maybe that is, the next thing up or, you know, the next step up in that company, and you look at your boss and you’re thinking, “I don’t want to do this job. I don’t want to do what she’s doing,” or “I don’t want to do what he’s doing.” This could be a sign that upward mobility is not really something that you would aspire to in that company. So if you don’t really see an area, an opportunity, that you would like to grow into, it may be good to consider some other options, because, you know, in your career over time there should be some growth. There should be some growth. Maybe it’s not in job title. Maybe it’s in skills. Maybe it’s in the type of work that you are doing. Maybe you’re expanding, you know, the markets that you’re in. You are, you know, trying and doing new things, but if you don’t see anyone at your company that you aspire to be like, you don’t aspire to do the work that they’re doing, then I’m not sure how that long-term plan or path would work out for you at that company. Next, your environment is toxic. I know so many people that stay in toxic work environments, and, you know, it’s–it’s just not good for your health. Even if you like what you do. Let me be honest. There are some people that actually like the work that they do, but their environment is so toxic that it definitely puts an emotional weight and toll on what you do, you know? There’s a lot of folks that are with great companies, but they are in the wrong teams. They’re under the wrong leadership. So let me just kind of add some clarifiers here around what could signify that you are in a toxic environment. Your coworkers. You know, a lot of us spend more time with our coworkers than we do with our own family. [laughs] Real talk. And so if your coworkers can’t be trusted, meaning they complain constantly about the company, they talk negatively about other coworkers, you know, they’re sneaky, you know? You see others getting promoted when you know you’ve been carrying the work of the team. Maybe leadership is a little bit dishonest or distant. These are signs that your environment is toxic. Have you ever been around a coworker and they talk so much junk about another coworker when they’re not around, and then when that coworker comes back they’re smiling in that face? Do y’all know people like that? You know, that type of drama and negativity and pettiness can be extremely draining, and it’s also hard to stay focused on the task, it’s hard to stay focused on, you know, what you are meant to do there when you’re having to deal with drama and you’re having to deal with that type of negativity, because I guarantee you if they’re–if they’re talking about another coworker when you’re not around, at least I know for me, when I worked in corporate, I always thought, “Man, if they’re talking about this person, what are they saying about me when I’m not around?” So those are some signs of being in a toxic work environment. Going back to this, you know, seeing others get promoted when you know you’ve been carrying the work of the team. Man, I–[laughs] I see this a lot with black women, I’ll be honest, where we are carrying the work, but, you know, we have other coworkers that don’t look like us that are getting promoted because they seem like they are, you know, that manager, leader material. That is a sign of an environment that you probably need to get out of. Now, if you are doing a lot of extra work and–first I would say start having conversations with management and leadership about, you know, the fact that you are picking up additional work. Maybe you’re taking on more projects. Maybe you asked for it. Maybe you want a promotion. Ladies, we have to make it known that we want to get promoted. We have to make it known. So if you’ve done these things, you’ve done the stretch work, you have proven yourself to be a leader, and you’re being overlooked for promotions and someone else on your team is being promoted and you know that you’ve been putting in more hours, more time, you know, you have been doing the work, it might warrant you to have some additional conversations with leadership. Now, let me just say that doing the work itself just is not enough too. You definitely will want to make sure that you are building the right relationships. You know, we all know that in corporate there is a game that you have to play, but I’m gonna move onto bad leadership. Bad leadership is I think one of the biggest indicators that you may not be able to grow in your role. You know, a lot of people are promoted because they’re really good at their jobs, and that promotion may lead to them taking over a team of others in that same department. That doesn’t always mean that they are great leaders. There is a difference between a good leader and a good manager. There are some folks in management positions that don’t know how to lead. They don’t have the people skills, and that requires us to have to manage up. So with that being said, you definitely need to make sure that you are managing that relationship with leadership, but here’s some examples of some not so great leadership. You don’t have a relationship with them and leadership does not even attempt to have a relationship with you. They do not ask you about your career goals. Even if you try to bring up your career goals in conversation they brush it off. Maybe when you tell them that you have a desire to grow at the company they’re like, “Oh… just keep doing what you’re doing,” or “No, you’re doing great. You know, just stay–you’re fine, what are you talking about?” You know? Like, y’all know what I’m saying. [laughs] If you have had that conversation where you’ve said, “I want to build my skill set. I want to talk about what a promotion would look like,” and they are constantly brushing you off or they’ll say things like, “Oh, let’s talk about it in six months. Let’s talk about in the spring.” You know, “We just had budget cuts. Let’s talk about it again once we get our new budget,” right? Then that timeframe comes around and again they’re like, “Oh, let’s talk about it in another six months.” This happens a lot. So that is a sign of bad leadership. In terms of feedback, you don’t really get feedback even when you ask for it. Maybe let’s say you know that you could’ve done better on a project, you know? Maybe you’re really great at, you know, being efficient with your time, you’re really great at, you know, being a leader within your team, holding a team together, but when it comes to you having to present to leadership, you know, maybe public speaking is a skill that you really need to work on. And let’s say that you try to have a conversation with leadership because you know that you can do better in terms of that public speaking skill or public speaking in general and they kind of brush it off where you know it’s something you need to improve on, that to me is a warning sign, because if someone wants you–if they see that you have potential and they want you to grow, they need to give you that feedback so that you can grow. Just a couple of other things. Next, you’re bored at work. Your responsibilities have not matured. You have literally been doing the same thing for years at this point. You’re not learning anything new. Your boss wants you to–I think I talked about this just a few minutes ago, but your boss just wants you to keep doing what you’re doing, but you’re really tired of doing the same thing every day. [laughs] Ask if you could do, you know, some new things. You feel like you’re not learning or growing. That is a sure sign that you’ve outgrown your role, and this actually happened to me. It happened to me at a point where I had first transitioned into recruiting, and I had a mentor who had worked in recruiting for some time. Well, he actually recruited me when I first got into corporate. So, you know, I kind of sought out his advice when I made that leap into it, and he said, you know, “The first three years, just focus on doing the job well and learning the territories and building relationships with leadership. Don’t change up anything. Don’t implement any new recruiting strategies until year three.” So I said, “Okay,” and year one–you know, recruiting is a hard job, I’ll be honest with you. It’s a lot of moving pieces, a lot of moving parts, so year one was pretty challenging, but year two I knocked it out the park. I mean, I implemented new recruiting strategies even though he told me to wait. [laughs] I had developed some really good relationships with all of our candidates. I was, you know, very metric-driven and pretty organized and self-sufficient, and so I had recruiting running like a well-oiled machine, you know, to the best of my ability, and I wanted to grow. I wanted more. I wanted to just pick up new things and new tasks and be able to be more of a leader, and I wasn’t getting that opportunity although I had expressed it. And I had went to lunch with a mentor, now mentor of mine, who has been in diversity and inclusion for many, many years. He now does consulting on his own. And I was just explaining to him the situation I was in, and he said, “You know what? It really sounds like you’ve outgrown your role,” and I was like, “Hm.” I kind of had to–it caught me off guard because it was so true and I didn’t realize it. So many of us have outgrown our roles and we know that we are meant to be doing more and adding more value and being more impactful at work. I want to wrap it up here about this. If you are mentally and physically ill due to the stress of your work to the point where you cannot get out of bed, you need to wrap it up. Seriously. You know, I have had conversations, very hard conversations, with some folks who have told me that work has stressed them out to the point where they are on, you know, meds, anxiety medication, depression medication. They don’t have the energy to even get to work. I just want to say that a job like that is never worth your health, is never worth your emotional stability, so if you can, take a leave of absence. Take a sick day, you know? Call out. Take a mental health day. Whatever you need to do to get yourself back into a better mental state, do it. So there are a lot of us that have been in these toxic work environments for too long, or maybe you’ve outgrown your role, maybe you’re just unhappy and unfulfilled. I want you to really check in with yourself and ask yourself, “Am I going through these things? Am I experiencing these things right now at work?” So… wow, I feel like this was [laughs] a little bit of a heavy topic, but this is something that I am passionate about, because I don’t think any of us deserve to be in an environment that we don’t truly enjoy, where we don’t feel valued and where we don’t feel respected. It’s not worth–it’s not worth it, most definitely not, especially if it’s to the point where it is, you know, affecting your health. So with that being said, I’m teaching a masterclass, a free masterclass, on December 11th on 7:00 p.m. Eastern time and December 14th 11:00 a.m. Eastern time again, in talking about how to unleash your career potential in 2020. Super excited about it. I have about 200 and something folks signed up. So I will put that in the show notes so you all can hopefully register. It’s completely free. I would love to talk with you all a little bit more. What I’ll be talking about on that webinar is just how do you really launch your job search for 2020, how can you make sure that you are setting yourself up for success so that you can get into a place of happiness and enjoyment and fulfillment in your career. So if anything that I shared on this podcast today resonated with you and you are thinking, “Yes, it is time for me to leave,” I need for you to sign up. Sign up for the masterclass. All right, guys. Thank you so much for listening, and I will catch you next time.

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