I remember the day very well. We were all crammed into the Video Conference room. We had just given up the floor of the copy shop to a bunch of co-workers from another store. It was standard practice we’d work their store during their meetings, and in return they would work ours.
Our sales manager started the whole thing rolling, and then in walked a giant chicken.
It hit like a lead balloon. No one laughed. We all kind of stared as if someone just got up and decided to defecate on the conference table. The giant chicken was our manager, and some how this was suppose to motivate us!
As I wrote in one of my previous blog posts, this was the time that I decided to leave my job.
I’ve had another Chicken Suit moment of late. And it got me thinking of just when and how to judge if it is time to leave.
These are apocalyptic signs that you should probably end your job. You might survive in all of these circumstances holding on, but you might not be very happy while doing it.
1) Incongruent Messages
Anytime a company says one thing and does another you should perk your ears (that goes for people as well.)
I was in one of the worst regions of the country when I worked for that copy shop with the kinky name. The reason why my boss got so desperate and wore a Chicken Suit was this inconsistent message we got from corporate versus the store/regional level.
It made co-workers cynical. Where do all these people centered wonderful values reside? New policies would be implemented with all the joy of a root canal.
Perhaps, you think as one of my clients did that this is the way of business. If that is your worldview you might challenge it. If you decide to stay in a situation where people say one thing and do another, then trust your gut and to thy own self be true. Put yourself before the company, because the company is probably rooting for itself. Have a contingency plan.
If your employer swears up and down that a program is necessary, or your company gets bought out and then in less than a month you see Bob and half of Bob’s staff standing by the elevator with all their personal stuff and one of the security staff.
You need to question what was said, or ask yourself did you have an inkling of it sooner? You don’t have to be psychic. It is really learning to connect to what your body is feeling. If you feel a slight dread as the new VIP smiles and says all is well, you might trust that.
The best course with the Incongruent Messages is to get out. Second is to put yourself before the company, and learn how to trust your gut.
2) Compromises Your Health
Are you required to work 80 hours per week? Did you just go through a major car accident and almost end up in traction, but you are expected to keep up a schedule that would wear out a trained athlete? Does your job require you to move through 24-7 like a soldier under fire? Are you getting combat pay or compensated in some other way?
Sometimes, no amount of money is worth your life. Getting clean with your beliefs around earning money can help clear up this little area. How hard must you work to earn your paycheck? What are you avoiding by spending your life stressed.
This goes for under earning as well. It compromises your health.
Whatever stress you are under if it is affecting how you feel on a daily basis you need to make a change.
3) You’re boss is a Sociopath!
If your boss is a Sociopath, I suggest RUN don’t walk to the nearest exit. Get recommendations from your church minister, your babysitter, your two year-old, but don’t ask from help for someone who might cut you off at your knees.
Narcissists can be dealt with, but true Sociopaths give you that wonderful feeling…sometimes numb but often crazy. “Person X good, me bad.”
About one in twenty-five individuals are sociopathic, meaning, essentially, that they do not have a conscience. It is not that this group fails to grasp the difference between good and bad; it is that the distinction fails to limit their behavior. The intellectual difference between right and wrong does not bring on the emotional sirens and flashing blue lights, or the fear of God, that it does for the rest of us. Without the slightest blip of guilt or remorse, one in twenty-five people can do anything at all.
Stout Ph.D., Martha (2005-02-08). The Sociopath Next Door (p. 9). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
If that doesn’t give you chills than I don’t know what will. If you feel numb, slightly crazy, or wrong all the time where your boss is concerned. You might want to buy “The Sociopath Next Door” and give it a read. If it sounds a little close to home, do some damage control and get out.
The human capacity to survive is amazing, but there is a big difference between surviving and thriving. If you’re holding on in an incredibly bad situation, you might just crack the door and wonder what your world would be like without it.