It’s My Life but it’s also Our Decision

If you are married and thinking of resigning, making it a family decision before you hand in the letter will help you cancel out or even deal with a truck load of issues that come up along the next phase of your life.

“But it’s my life,” you say. “Am the one who is unhappy, am the one who has to get up everyday and go face a mean boss, am the one who has to get stuck in traffic for two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening for a minimum wage payment, am the one who…. ”

Yes, I hear you loud and clear, but I will repeat your words to you, “you are the one who will ask for support when things are not working out as planned, it is your family that will have to change their lifestyle because your source of income has been temporarily changed, it is your family that will have to contend with the parcels of uncollected boxes of a consignment that is taking too long to sell, it is your family that will have to make the sacrifice when you have to work odd hours, it is your family that will be there with you arranging the tender papers hours before its closure.”

They need to be in on the implications of your decision. When they can’t take the annual holiday because the fat check is held up in some government office, they will hold your hand and simply say, “it’s okay, we understand.”

Including your significant family members in the decision to leave employment has a double edged sword effect:

  1. It strengthens your resolve because you know they’ve got your back covered
  2. It prepares them psychologically for any effect – negative or positive

There is a TV advert I once saw where this guy is out drinking with his friends and he says, “Guys, I quit my job today.” Everyone freezes with anxiety in their faces (the kind that I refer to in my E-Book “From Employment to Business) until he breaks the silence with a half glass full of some drink saying, “coz am starting my business tomorrow!”

Everytime I saw that advert I thought of how sly it was in so many levels. How do you spend your last paycheck on partying right after you quit? Moreso, on people who will not pick your calls two months down the line for fear that you will ask them for money.

As you make the decision to quit, you might need to draw three circles and fill in some details as below.

Circle One: Innermost and it is the core of the largest circle. That circle consists of you and your Creator. You and Your God are at the heart of that decision. You are the owners of that decision and you are the ones who hold the rest of the system together. The system of your life. In military terms, that circle is the command centre of everything in your life.

Circle Two: Just outside but still around the core. It consists of your family. The closest to you. If you are not married, it could be your Father, mother, brother,  sister etc. If you are married, it will only be your spouse, and children.

Circle 3: Consists of three close friends (related or not). A friend likes defining these friends as “people who you know and trust to bring up your children just like you would (or better) if you or any of your trusted relatives were absent.”

These three circles are the most critical to be involved in the decision. This is because they know you. They know what works and doesn’t work for you. They see things that you may be temporarily blind to. They know what environment you flourish in and which one does you in. They will hold your hand, celebrate with you, cry with you, pick the award with you and even give you a genuine accolade without expecting anything from you.

Everyone who you have not included in those three circles falls into the category of “others”. To them, your decision will not make much of a difference and there is no need to involve these.

One of my key lessons after leaving work was the importance of building a reliable support system that I could task to hold me accountable and they would. They still do.

Today, my 3 circles are drawn on a chart paper stuck in my living room. A good reminder of who I can talk to during the day no matter how it turns out.

Have you drawn your chart or would you consider starting to draw it today?

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