It's 6 am Monday morning and your alarm clock buzzes waking you up from Sunday night's slumber. Time to face another work day as you yank the power cord out from the wall and begin your morning routine en route to the office.
For many people, they are satisfied with this routine. For others, pure misery.
The best leaders in business can withstand a lot of adversity--way past the point where they first begin feeling uncomfortable. So, why do people quit in the first place?
In a recent poll conducted by Gallup, 70 percent of people interviewed suggested that the number one reason they left their former role, is because of their supervisor. Not too surprising, right?
So, I wanted to dive deeper. Why don't these miserable people quit their jobs? I ran an informal survey to my email list (of mostly miserable people) and received over 1,000 responses.
I asked the question: What is preventing you from quitting your miserable job?
It's the one thing they can't stand the most: They're afraid their new boss is going to be even worse.
Every employee needs to feel supported.
So, if this isn't the cruel joke of the century, I don't know what is. They quit because they hate their boss. They don't quit because they're afraid they're going to hate their new boss. Now, that's comedy!
With more and more flexibility and freedom in the workplace in 2018, aided by the advent of technology, I was curious as to why so many people stick around at their current jobs, even when they are miserable.
So why are we so fearful of the future? And what does that say about our careers?
We all could stand to take a few more risks. Worrying about the future is a waste of time--and in light of our conversation--a waste of money and good talent. Too many people feel stuck in their jobs, and this really hurts the companies that they work for. If you are afraid of your boss, chances are you are afraid of doing your best work, too.
I remember a client project specifically where I was extremely miserable. My ideas weren't being listened to, and the project was on its way to be a big failure. Instead of speaking up and trying to fix the project, I ended up just doing what I was told and watching it fail with everyone else. It wasn't the best for the company, and that's what happens when an employee isn't being appreciated.
Employees need to feel supported. Doubts about managers can lead to a lack of effective communication, which can stifle innovation and halt creativity.
If you're miserable in your job, here's what to do.
In theory, we should tell these employees to get out of a poor situation and that it will all work out. Being courageous in your career shouldn't depend on your supervisor.
I also wonder: How many of the people quoted in the Gallup polls have actually had an earnest conversation with someone above them about why they feel like they don't like their jobs? My guess is that the number who have is much smaller than the number who say that their boss is the number one reason they hate their job.
I'm not suggesting these people are wrong. I'm just curious to find out what we can do to make work better.
If you're managing people, there are several ways to make yourself more approachable to candidates looking to join your company. The first way is to create videos of yourself talking to the camera and posting on social media. This will give candidates an inside look into who you are.
The second way is to meet prospective candidates in informal locations outside the office. Maybe go for a walk or get a coffee at a local cafe. This will help them visualize how they will work with you long term.
The realization I had and have taught to many others, is that you shouldn't be afraid to advance your career because you're afraid of the unknown. That's a recipe for never advancing and hating your job forever.
Make the leap, you won't regret it.