Every day people go to jobs that they hate. Jobs that make them sick to the stomach. Jobs where they hate their boss. All they want to do is quit and do something else.
In my work as a leadership speaker and career success coach, I've heard countless stories like this. I even experienced it myself during my 10+ years working in the television industry in New York City as a correspondent, host and producer.
Many people will tell you to just quit your job and follow your passion. Others will tell you to take a big leap and the net will appear as you seek bliss and joy. Some will say don't work for someone else, start your own business.
While this isn't necessarily bad advice, what people don't tell you is that following your "passion" doesn't always pay the mortgage or rent. Finding bliss won't always feed your kids. And getting a business off the ground takes time.
The opportunity you have is to not be impatient or impulsive and immediately quit your job. The best thing to do instead is to think strategically.
The best way to do this is to find three things to "take" from your current job before you quit.
First, take advantage of professional development opportunities. Many companies offer a variety of voluntary professional development opportunities. These include attending industry business conferences, taking continuing education courses, and even working with an executive coach.
Unfortunately, many unhappy employees who are thinking about quitting tend to stop participating in these learning and development programs, creating missed growth opportunities for themselves.
The second key thing to do is to keep securing big wins. At some point, when employees are ready for a change, they often stop trying and fail to give their all at work. Instead of playing to win, they simply slip into cruise control. They do just enough work not to draw attention to their lack of effort.
Instead of becoming passive, use it as an opportunity to secure big wins that demonstrate the value you bring to the company. You never know what new doors this might open at your current job. Plus, sharing these wins during an interview with a potential employer will demonstrate your dedication and commitment to your work.
The third thing to do is to continue building your relationships at your job. It's tempting to daydream about telling your boss and colleagues to, "Take this job and shove it." While this might feel good in the moment, you'll quickly regret the decision.
The business world is small. The window is always open for a potential employer to contact your current or former colleagues to assess whether they should hire you. Plus, you never know when you may need the support of a former colleague later on in the course of your career.
Starting finding what to "take" from your current job before you quit. This is how you will set yourself up for long-term success for the rest of your career.a