It Might Be Time to Quit When…


The price you pay emotionally and physically while working in a toxic corporate environment is too high. It might be time to make a change.

For six years I had a radio show on Sunday nights, giving me a new appreciation for people who dreaded going to work on Monday morning. Callers shared concerns, fears and disgust about what they were facing the next day.

One client who came to me in that time was 52 year-old Liz, who, after 24 years of faithful service, walked out of her high level corporate job two weeks prior to contacting me. She described the high stress, the layers of poor management, and the gross inefficiency. I hear lots of reasons for leaving a job including a lack of autonomy, no time flexibility, feeling unappreciated and poor pay. But as I talked with Liz, even all those great reasons for leaving would have been tolerated; however, what could not be tolerated was a disrespectful, demeaning boss. This is without question the top reason people walk away from jobs.

I look for telltale signs someone needs a change. Obviously, physical aches and maladies are often a first clue. People relate the sense of dread that may start on Sunday night, but then may start popping into your head immediately after Sunday morning church or even ruin the enjoyment of Saturday. Liz talked about spending 25 minutes just sitting in her car in the parking lot before having the courage to walk in the door, thus being late and compounding the frustration and belittling.

I am not one to burn bridges. When someone contacts me I never suggest leaving a position until we have a clear goal and transition plan in place. I also attempt to categorize those things we can change and those we cannot. Discrepancies in pay or promotions, company policies and even specific job tasks are things that can be changed. But the corporate culture, the attitude that comes down from the top is the toughest thing to change. If your company has a toxic corporate culture or you have a direct boss who is disrespectful and demeaning, it may not be reasonable to think you can change it. The price you pay emotionally and eventually physically, is too high. Life is too short. With that, it may be time to quit.

From Herb Kelleher, Chairman and Cofounder, Southwest Airlines:

“If you’re crazy enough to do what you love for a living, then you’re bound to create a life that matters!”

From Sir Richard Branson

“There is no greater thing you can do with your life and work than find your passion and follow it–in a way that improves both yourself and the world.”

From Soren Kierkegaard

“The thing is to understand myself, to see what God really wants me to do... to find the idea for which I can live and die.”


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