When is it Time to Leave?

PDJ November 21, 2013 PDJ 0

In today’s economic environment, even talented newcomers are worried about losing or changing jobs.

By Howard Pines – CEO of BeamPines

I still receive many requests from people asking that I talk to a son or daughter about their career. The most difficult conversations are with people who feel trapped because they are doing a job they don’t like, but are afraid they won’t be able to find something as good.

My experience is that while losing a job is never a pleasant experience, managers and executives who stumble, learn their lesson, and then move on, many times achieve the greatest success. CEOs I have interviewed are more comfortable with an executive who has rebounded from a defeat than an executive who has only had successes.

As a good friend of mine says, “If you wake up each morning excited about going to work, you should continue doing it. If not, you should think about doing something else.” In other words, what is it you need to do better or different? Do you just need to adjust your management or leadership style, or are you in the wrong business or profession? One young man I was coaching had begun to hate the retail business because of the time commitments and the loss of control over his life. His decision to purchase a small business did not reduce his time commitment, but becoming a business owner did give him more control over his life, which made the time commitment okay.

If you follow sports, you know that very few great players become great coaches or general managers, like Michael Jordan or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Why? Because playing and coaching or managing require different skills. The same is true in business. Being a top salesman doesn’t make you a successful sales manager and being a strong operations manager doesn’t make you a great leader. Conversely, many good sales managers are not the best sales people.

So the question is: What are your skills and desires, and how can they best be leveraged and used. Remember that while thinking this through you must be patient and plan for the longer term. As another friend advised me when I entered the consulting business, “The world of employers isn’t waiting for you to come, so you need to build a rationale for them to hire you over others.”

Howard Pines has more than 30 years of experience as CEO, chairman, and founder of BeamPines, an executive coaching firm. He also cofounded the BeamPines/Middlesex University Master’s Program in Executive Coaching. Previously, he served as Senior VP of Human Resources for a Fortune 100 corporation.

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