'Tis the season for summer camps, trips to the sea, backyard barbeque parties and fretting over whether to leave a job.
Wait--when to leave a job? Sounds crazy, right? But summer's slower pace is often the one time to take a step back from the meetings/deadlines/to-do-lists and ask yourself one important question: Is it time to leave my job?
Based on my oh-so-unscientific poll, it sure feels that way to me. Over the past six weeks, I've been inundated with one question: should I leave my job?
While it's true that I'm better suited to advise someone on content strategy versus career planning, I have picked up one very useful piece of advice that I now use as a handy guide.
This piece of wisdom comes from my dear friend, Teddi Hernandez, who was enjoying an extremely successful 20-year career at leading consumer products company. Two years ago, she attended a conference that caused her to think about other possibilities beyond her current profession.
But should she leave? She had a terrific income, worked with wonderful employees and was helping to steward an iconic brand.
And frankly, how do you really know when it's time to check out the grass on the other side?
She came up with quite possibly the most perfect answer.
She wrote a letter.
What kind of letter?
Her resignation letter.
Teddi sat down and wrote her resignation, then did something very important. She stepped back from her laptop and got very quiet so she could "check in" with herself.
Was she paralyzed with fear? Filled with so much dread that she could actually feel the acid dripping onto her stomach lining? Or was she filled with a sense of calm, elation or relief?
Teddi felt relief. Then joy. Then excitement.
So she hit "send".
Teddi knew there would be a lot of financial hurdles, not to mention the lively conversation that would occur when her husband came home from work later that day!
Like all of us, she knew there are realities that may prevent anyone from leaving a job. But I found that this exercise gets you closer than anything to really understanding your gut instinct.
An old boss of mine, former Sprint CEO Gary Forsee, once told me: your gut is nothing more than accumulation of your experiences. It's your second brain.
You might still decide, for pragmatic reasons, that you should stay in your position. But at least you'll be able to find out how you really, truly feel.
After sending the letter, Teddi Hernandez went on to buy a business and sell it for a tidy profit just two years later. She recently founded SoLVE, a boutique marketing agency, focused on helping mid-sized companies grow.
That's certainly a happy ending for someone who went to a conference and then ended up writing that letter.