By Sunny Simon
My new client Stacy impressed me as the happiest unemployed person I’d ever met. During our first meeting she smiled broadly and declared in a confident voice that the day she quit her job was part bittersweet, but mostly liberating. I had a hunch her joy was not because she had a rich uncle or a winning lottery ticket. Turns out I was right.
Stacy told me a story I’d heard before. As a district sales manager of a sizeable territory her long days were spent in airplanes and meetings. It had been many years since she experienced a coveted work-life balance. Now that she finally released herself from her road warrior lifestyle, she was going to make some changes. We discussed leaving management and returning to the workforce as an individual contributor status in a geographically desirable area.
When I asked Stacy why she never made this change earlier in the game, she gave me a sheepish look. I nodded and held up my hand signaling no need to reply. Stacy was not the first person to drag her feet on making some necessary life style changes. She later admitted excessive stress and too little downtime had also impacted her health.
Ignoring a wake-up call, such as health issues due to stress, was a rather dumb move for a very smart lady. No doubt, fear prevented Stacy from addressing the situation. Change is scary but should not be avoided. Stacy was a super star. She admitted if she expressed concern to her manager early on, she could have stepped down and assumed a role with minimal travel and less responsibility. Now she had to go in search of one.
Are you battling a stressful situation in the workplace? Before you craft your resignation letter, identify and deal with the stressors. If your inbox is overflowing, review your time management skills. Are you prioritizing properly and working efficiently? Should you talk to your manager about workload redistribution? Are your coworkers chewing up your time by incessant interruptions just to chat? If so, speak up. Tell them you are on a deadline and set up a lunch date to connect.
Work off your stress by incorporating some exercise in your routine. If you cannot get to the gym after work, join the 5:00am club. Getting up early allows time for a walk, run or early morning hike.
If burnout has claimed you and nothing is working, talk to a counselor and get some perspective on making the needed changes.
Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching. More about Sunny at www.raisethebarhigh.com