Why You Shouldn’t Quit Your Job… Yet
Kim Ades, President and Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching™, and podcast producer David Wolf discuss what you need to do FIRST before you quit your job.
“When we attempt to take action from a place of frustration, the likelihood of failure is significantly increased.”
Have you been thinking that it’s time for you to quit your job? Do you feel disposable and undervalued? Do you feel like your voice isn’t heard? Do you clash with your current work environment?
As much as you may want to quit your job, there’s something that we recommend that you do FIRST.
Listen as Kim Ades, President and Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching™, and podcast producer David Wolf discuss why your next move isn’t to quit your job.
Getting Coached When You Want to Quit Your Job
Kim: Here’s a work-related journal about a person who’s really unhappy with their position:
“I’m very unhappy at work these days. I feel disgusted. I feel disposable and not valued. I work hard at keeping a positive attitude, but I’m human. I get upset and disagree with things at times and feel we’re all being punished for speaking up. I would like to leave this company yet I’m unsure about future steps. I’m very fearful about my work future and don’t know what lies ahead, but I do know that this is not the kind of work environment I want to subject my life to.”
David: Wow. Not valued and upset and not encouraged to speak, so clearly there’s something around that. There’s a journey or opportunity there. The other thing is there’s fear.
Kim: Yeah. I’m just going to share with everybody what I would do as a coach in this situation because I think it’s important for you to understand the elements at play.
The first thing I would do as a coach is say, “Tell me what gets you so upset at work. Give me examples of where you feel punished. When do you get upset and disagree with things?” What I want to do is really extract the story of the events that are taking place and what it is that’s causing such a high and intense level of dissatisfaction to the point where this particular person is using the word “disgusted.”
David: Right. So Kim, as a coach, you’re going to dig deeper into what actually happened. You want to know the details.
Kim: That’s right. Let’s pull back from that and help everybody understand the mechanics here. The way you feel is not a function of what’s happening. The way you feel is a function of how you think about what’s happening, so what we have right here is a series of very, very strong emotions and we’re not really sure what they’re feeling strong emotions about. So the first course of action is to really understand what’s going on for them to feel this strongly. The idea is to get the story.
Sometimes, you may see an employee who’s in a very bad mood or upset or withdrawn or something like that, and you may make assumptions about what’s going on. What we should do is say, “Hey, what happened? Are you okay? You look like you’re out of sorts. What took place that caused you to feel this way?” What we’re really doing is we’re trying to get the thinking or the story they’re telling about what happened. I want to make a distinction between the facts of what took place and their interpretation or rather the story that they tell about what took place.
David: So what you teach in your coaching model is to make that distinction and understand the difference between the two, their internal narrative, how they think about what occurred, and then you also want to hear what occurred so you can make a comparison, right?
Kim: Yes, exactly. Most people would read or hear something like this and say, “Well, why don’t you just quit your job? That would be the right course of action,” but I will suggest to you that when you’re in this state of disgust and you quit your job and go to the next place, that state of disgust won’t shift all that much. It’ll stay the same. You’ll just find other things to be disgusted with.
This is a very, very important point: when we coach people, we don’t actually want them to make any wild changes right off the bat before they understand the relationship between their thoughts and the emotions or the outcomes that they receive. So before we say, “Let’s create a plan to get you migrated to a new job, let’s put your resume together, let’s go on a job search” or any of that, what we would say is, “Let’s really understand the source of your unhappiness.” Then we would equip them and help them understand that their unhappiness isn’t a result of what other people are doing at the office. It’s a result of how they interpret what other people are doing at the office.
Don’t Quit Your Job… Yet
David: The key to all of this is the fact that you’re not looking for a change in behavior or an action immediately. The first thing you want to do is help her understand how she’s thinking about what is occurring in the world. You’re not asking for an action is my point, which is at the core of how you do this.
Kim: I’m not asking for action yet, so what that means is that if she started to take action from this place of disgust and not feeling valued, whatever action she would take would lead to increased disgust and feeling of less value, even less than what she currently feels. I don’t want her to take action from that vantage point.
I want her to take action from a place of saying, “Maybe things are really bad at the office and this is the way things are, but I don’t have to feel like my hands are tied. I am actually responsible for the way I feel and I’m going to take responsibility for the way I feel. I’m going to be at peace with what’s going on in the office, and from that place, maybe I can make changes and/or I can leave,” but not until she’s at peace with what’s going on.
David: Wow, so much there in such a short passage. I was going to ask, Kim, I know by nature, Frame of Mind Coaching™ isn’t really an action-focused idea. It’s about the way we think and controlling your thoughts. Do you find that people need a pause or a trigger? Are there physical things that one can do to begin to create new triggers? How do you think about that in the context of the work you do?
“Actions are successful when one’s thinking is lined up with their goal or desire.” -Kim Ades
Kim: I want to correct you. It’s not that Frame of Mind Coaching™ is not action-oriented. That’s really not true at all. It’s very much action-oriented, but we don’t want people to take action that leads to further frustration. We want them to succeed. We don’t want them to fail. When they attempt to take action from a place of frustration, their likelihood of failure is significantly increased, so we don’t want to make people do things when they’re really not ready to do those things or when they’re aggravated, agitated, pissed off, whatever. That’s not a place from which to expect great results.
David: Okay. Thank you for the correction because what you’re talking about is the sequence of when one takes action. Are they ready and do they have control of how they’re interpreting and owning their own thought process? Is that a better way to think of it?
Kim: That’s a better way to think about it, but let’s go a little bit further because this is a very important question. It’s the idea of action. Actions are successful or powerfully executed when one’s thinking is lined up with the outcome or the goal or the desire.
David: So it’s about alignment?
Kim: It’s about alignment, exactly. Very often, we take action before being aligned, and when our thoughts are aligned with our desires, our actions naturally follow, so we don’t have to manage action so much, but we do have to make some effort to make sure that our thinking is lined up with what it is we want.
A great analogy is of a dog wagging his tail. If I want a dog to wag his tail, I don’t grab him by the tail and shake the tail. What I do is I look at the dog, I give the dog a whole bunch of love, and when the dog is happy, the dog naturally wags his tail. It’s the same thing with human beings. When we jump into action, it’s almost as though we’re grabbing the tail and trying to wag it and it’s not an effective strategy, but we keep on doing it over and over and over again.
Here’s the basic premise. Again, for everybody who’s listening, thought precedes action, period, end of story. If you want to do something, you’re working at half-mast if you start with just doing the work rather than stepping back, starting at the beginning and saying, “Hey, do I feel any resistance to this?” How may times do you hear someone say, “I have to do all these things but I don’t feel like it?”
David: So back to the case of the woman who’s really unhappy, not valued, she’s upset, she’s not encouraged to speak, she’s being punished in her workplace… she will bring that with her to her next job and her next job and her next job unless this fundamental essential work is done.
Kim: Yes, absolutely. Now, I’m not going to deny, there may be some kind of abuse going on in the workplace. She may be valid 100 percent. She still needs to do this work, because a person who has been abused and doesn’t clean that up will continue to experience abusive relationships or situations.