Ask These 7 Questions Before Tossing In the Towel at Work

articles by nick mindfulness at work the future of work the great resignation workplace Mar 06, 2022
Man triumphantly tossing his work papers in the air, ready to quit his job


Ready to Toss in the Towel at Work? Ask These Seven Questions Before You Do


"There has to be a way to do what I love, that has meaning, and still allows me to make a decent living" 


We hear this craving for an integrated life almost daily from our Wayfinding community. 

Over the last two years each of us have had plenty of time to ask, "what else might I want? how can I make a difference in the world and still make a living?"

Before you make the leap, changing jobs is a major transition. You can enter it with chaos and spin, or you can enter it with clarity and clear knowing. 

These questions should help you do that.


1) Are you exhausted?

First things first, If you're exhausted, take your foot off the pedal and invest in replenishing yourself immediately.

Making a decision like this from a place of depletion is a no-no.  


2) Can you sense what would make you happiest to stay?

Sense into what you most deeply want (and don’t) that would make you happiest to stay in your current workplace.

Be courageous in your dreaming.

Find a way to crystallize those conditions into a proposal.


3) Can you pitch what you are seeking to a decision-maker?

Pitch that opportunity/position/idea to a decision-maker about how it could be a win-win.

Go for it! Missed opportunities hurt much more than rejections.

If you need encouragement, seek out someone you trust to share this with and ask them to role-play the role of the decision-maker. Their feedback can help you refine your pitch. If your pitch goes well, GREAT!

If you're not optimistic, keep reading.


4) Are you clear on the inner work that you still need to do?

"Wherever you go, there you are."

Often times the discomfort, upset, and frustration we experience at work with ourselves and our colleagues holds rich information about the work we still need to do as leaders.

If you are not clear on what these patterns are and how you contribute to them, you could find yourself in a sort of Groundhogs Day experience where the sources of your dissatisfaction pursue you from role to role until you confront them.


5) Are you leaving to escape or leaving to head toward something?

Be sure you aren't actively in a "flight" response when you start your search.

Being hijacked by a strong urge to escape could lead you to an "I'll take anything" posture which is a trap. This posture diverts us from doing the work of navigating towards the paths that best align with our gifts and how we can be in service to the world (either in our current organization or in a new one)


6) What do your ideal partnerships look like and how will you attract them to you?

While we join organizations, our day-to-day work boils down to the micro-interactions we have with various individuals.

To treat an organization as a whole when we consider leaving is to deny ourselves the clarity of the types of relationships we WANT to have in our future.

What kind of partnerships (current or in the past) make you feel most alive and in your greatest expression?

What kind of partnerships drain your vitality?


7) Is there a way for you to test what you're looking for?

Looking to make a career pivot? How can you practice some of those skills in your current role? Looking to go back to school?

Get clear if you're looking to

  1. Learn new things
  2. Build your network or
  3. Get new credentials

If your desires are internal get clear on how you choose a path that will be organized to deliver on that. If your desires are based on how others will perceive you, make sure you validate that getting that credential will be meaningful to them.


BONUS QUESTION // Are you thinking about becoming a full-time, part-time, side-hustle founder?

If you are, you aren't alone. Research from Babson College in 2021 found of the 202 million working-age adults in the United States, 27% are starting a business
or running a business they own and manage. On top of that 20.4% of the U.S. adult population stated they intend to start a business in the next three years.

If this is where your calling is taking you, get creative about the various forms this "preneur" can take. 

Many of us are capable of coming up with a vision but never make the first moves because there is too much financial risk/uncertainty. 

10% of your time 10% of your money

If you're serious about this vision, you have to start directing your energy toward it. Leaving your job will not change the fact that you will still need to develop daily and weekly practices to pursue this new way of being in the world. 

Dedicating time and money gradually, rather than leaving work cold turkey is a way to explore possibilities and your own discipline and devotion for pursuing this idea without big consequences. 

Over time, reward yourself by escalating your investment as you reach milestones. 

Of the four major skills for entrepreneurs many adults in the United States see themselves as:

  • Having highly innovative ideas
  • Having long-term vision - the ability to think forward into the future to what may be possible
  • Being alert to opportunities


Only 46% of adults actually act on opportunities when they spot them. 

So if you're thinking of making moves. Get clear on why and act from a place clarity and stillness. 




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