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Restless

I had a professional first a few weeks ago; after 25 years of working life I resigned from a job. I’ve been merged, acquired, leveraged, re-org’d, and RIF’d in one combination or another a dozen times; but I’ve never quit a job. It was a pretty big decision, and here’s what was behind it:

Six months ago I began to feel a professional restlessness. My situation was good; the company was thriving, and the owners were kind and generous with me. Was I having a string of bad days, or were the feelings really valid? Two months of serious self-examination landed the conclusion that yes, the feelings were indeed valid; I wasn’t just having a bad day. I needed change; needed to feel hungry again, needed to feel a little scared again, and needed to feel that ambition was being fulfilled. I was in danger of becoming stale. That’s when I made the decision to leave my position.

Extended restlessness, frustration, and dissatisfaction are a liability to the organization. We’ve seen too many valued colleagues march themselves into an emotional rut under the excuse of “sucking it up”. But sucking it up is a short-term tactic, not a career strategy. I resigned because I didn’t want my own restlessness to devolve into bitterness, cynicism, and mediocrity.

Leaders need to recognize the signs of incipient restlessness in themselves and in their employees, and to act on those signs before restlessness turns to feelings that debit rather than credit the organization. Your company, your clients, your colleagues, and (in my case) the patients deserve your very best.

 

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  1. April 3, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Very well written. It’s general phenomenon that a common person wants job stability which sometimes ends up being staled. Interestingly your self experience has sort of message that ‘disrupt yourself’ for a mandatory change for your very inner. Best wishes!

    • April 7, 2014 at 8:22 pm

      Hi Shah,
      Thanks for the kind words. You understood the principle of “self disruption” exactly as I Meant it in the post. Thanks for reading.

      Alex

  2. April 5, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    Alex – I applaud you for your actions. During my 26-year tenure at a big pharma company, I had been in a similar situation for the last few years there. While I did succeed in maintaining my values and refused to suck it up, I did not have the courage to leave as you did. The result was several years of unhappiness, cynicism, and an extreme lack of motivation – essentially a waste of precious time. Eventually, I was laid off, and I was then laid off from my next two jobs after very short stints. I wish I had had the courage you have shown, rather than allowing myself to be in a situation that was unfulfilling and where I was not in control of my career. Years later, I am in a good place, but I will always have regrets about the precious time I wasted in between. You may be experiencing some uncertainty and anxiety now because you are in an unfamiliar position, but your decision to be true to yourself and stick to your values will surely result in future rewards. You have my utmost respect and admiration and I hope your next endeavor will be a satisfying one.

    Best Regards,
    Cliff

    • April 7, 2014 at 8:29 pm

      Cliff,

      Thanks for the courageous post. I’m so glad that you’re doing the work that makes you glad to wake up every morning. Losing that feeling was the fear that drove my own decision, but you found much better words than did to describe the process. My gratitude and respect.

  3. Diego Munoz
    April 7, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    Alex
    Great message good luck my friend

    • April 7, 2014 at 8:31 pm

      Brother Diego! Long time not talk. Thanks for taking a look at this blog, and thanks for the comment. Started my new gig in Tampa today. Hope we can talk soon.

      Alex

  4. Stephen Jacob
    April 10, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    Well written Alex! Good Luck

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