We have all been in a relationship that starts out with so much potential that we start imagining ourselves living with a certain person forever. We dream of love, rings, wedding dresses, and children, only to find out somewhere down the road that you and the other person are not as compatible as you once thought. Either your personalities clash, your lives go in different directions, or you decide that you don’t want to spend the rest of your life with that person. We all know that breaking up is hard to do, but inevitably if we want to move on with our lives (without that person) we need to do it, right?
In a relationship there are certain deal-breakers that present themselves that ultimately show us that we are no longer supposed to date that person. For example, you date a guy for two years and find out right before you plan to get married that he has been lying to you about his finances and debt. Deal-breaker, right? Or you are dating a guy who forgets to tell you that he had a child with a crazy woman who is now stalking you. Deal breaker for sure!
In life, when these deal-breakers present themselves and show us who the person we are dating really is we find it easy to dump them and move on (at least I did). I mean who wants to be married to someone who can’t be honest about his money? Not me!
Just as in intimate relationships, deal-breakers present themselves in our working relationships and careers. The following are examples of career deal-breakers that I would not stand for:
- Having a boss that constantly yells at me or demeans me, making me feel inadequate and stupid.
- Having a job that causes me too much stress for very little gain.
- Finding that your learning has slowed and your position is becoming stagnant.
- Hearing rumors that your company is about to go under.
- Being physically and mentally miserable at work for any reason.
I am sure you have other deal-breakers than the ones Ihave listed, but my point is that they exist. These deal-breakers find a way to creep through the very crevices of your happiness and make you feel unhappy and unsatisfied with your career. While these deal-breakers occur in everyone’s career (no matter what anyone tells you no one’s career and/or job is perfect), it seems to me that people have a harder time leaving an awful job than leaving an awful mate. Why is that?
Maybe leaving your job (and your steady income) seems scarier to you than pushing someone who brings you negative energy out of your life. Maybe the thought of being unemployed, which often has a bad stigma attached to it, embarrasses you. Maybe you feel as if you won’t be able to get another job making comparable pay.
There are a lot of reasons people may feel trapped at their jobs. Trust me, I understand what it feels like to be trapped. I used to spend hours on the internet searching for a way out of my old job, but never actually had the guts to quit. It ultimately took me about an entire year to find another job before I even thought about quitting a job that left me unhappy a lot of the times.
You may be wondering how you know if something is a deal-breaker. There is no definition of a deal-breaker, but trust me, when something is a deal-breaker you will know. You will know because whatever it is will make you unhappy. My advice: just use your intuition, you always know what is best for you.
What can you do when a deal-breaker presents itself at your current job?
- Start looking for another job. Utilize social media and your contacts to see if there are any jobs out there that match your skills.
- Try solving the problem by talking to your supervisor. If the deal-breaker is something that can be fixed, try being honest with your boss and see if he/she is willing to accommodate your requests.
- Talk to other people in your field to see if the deal-breaker is common. Finding out if this deal-breaker will present itself at another job is important to know before you leave your current situation. For example, if you are a lawyer and hate having a billable hour requirement you will want to make sure that a different job won’t present the same issues for you.
- Reevaluate your career path. If you find that you dislike multiple things about your current job you may want to reevaluate your career path. For example, if you went into sales and discovered that you hate having to drive around and service client maybe you will find a sales supervisor position more suitable to your personality.
Remember, just because you took the job doesn’t mean you have to stay there for the rest of your life. We live in a culture where it is more acceptable to go from one job to another, and a large reason for that is because Generation Y does not stay at a job they dislike.
So if you are stuck in a bad working relationship then breakup and move on.
What are your career deal-breakers? Have you ever left a job because one of them presented itself?