Before you quit your job….

Make a “stay list” of what would need to change and who has the authority to grant your wishes.

On average millenials change jobs every two years, from what I see in the technology industry, I would say the average is more like 18 months. Why is this and is this a good or bad thing? Well, I believe it is too frequent and bad in general for both parties.

Why is this happening? We are in the transition generation between the expectation of a long term employment contract with a stable company, to the current environment where no such implied contract will ever exist again, and nobody can predict which companies will be around 10 years from now.

Sites like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Hired, and Poachable are all enabling the power shift from the employer to the employee by putting more control and inside information in the hands of the job seekers. By creating transparency around new opportunities, salaries, interview questions and other “secrets” that were previously closely held by the hiring company, it is easier than ever to find new jobs with minimal risk to your current job. LinkedIn’s core innovation was making it possible for you to be always be looking for a job by cloaking your public profile as “networking”.

But wait, is all that optionality a good thing for building your skills, your network, figuring out what you’re best at and enjoy most? If you’re thinking of leaving your job, try this first, the purpose here is to force your brain to get involved and remove the emotions from the “should I quit my job equation”.

Write down a list of three things that would have to change for you to want to stay, ok not just want to stay, but be excited about staying in fact.

Then write down who in your company would have the authority and the motivation to address these issues. If your boss is the issue, if he or she is a nut job who makes you crazy, then you need to determine if there is a process to go to HR or apply for other jobs in the company to get you out of your current reporting structure.

Then look at this list every morning on your way to work for two weeks before you do anything. Imagine it playing out with the characters you have identified, when you talk to the HR person in the hallway, would they really be able to help you? Do they care? Have you seen others successfully make this kind of transition by asking HR to get involved? This will give you a pretty good idea of what to do next, the answer should fall out of this process and be obvious.

The key is to do this before you totally check out and have mentally moved on, once you have checked out it’s too late to regain the excitement you used to feel towards your job, your company and your co-workers.

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