When Do You Cut Your Losses?
I woke up this morning with the intentions of cleaning out my office. No, I wasn’t going to quit my job this morning. I was going to clean out my office, so I didn’t have much to pack when I do leave. But I decided not to clean out my office. Instead, I got dressed for work with a disdained look on my face. It was just another day. Many people have the same feeling when they have to work in hostile work environment. I will normally tell you to stick it out and fight to keep your job. Most writers will give the same advice. But sometimes it is best to leave. Leaving a hostile work environment doesn’t mean that you are a quitter. Don’t let other people determine whether you should quit your job. They don’t have to experience irrational behavior from your co-workers.
What are you supposed to do when you start to feel that you hate coming to work? How are supposed to feel when you haven’t done anything to your co-workers, and they still act like jackasses? Numerous thoughts run through your mind. After thinking about your situation, you decide to give up. Giving up is the easy option. Is it the best option? When do you need to cut your losses? That is a good question. Only you can answer that question. Don’t make you choice too quickly. No one wants to quit anything. Our parents teach us that quitting is the same as failure. People tell you that you will find drama no matter where you go. But a little piece of mind is better than no peace of mind.
Determine the pros and cons.
You should always determine the pros and cons of any situation. Don’t make choices when you are upset. Make a list of the positives and then negatives. I do this every time I decide to make adjustments in my life. If you have more pros than cons on your list, learn how to work on the negative aspects of the situation.
Consider alternative solutions.
Consider and practice alternative solutions when you realize that there are more positive aspects than negative aspects to your circumstances. Think about it. Does every altercation require a response? Does anything that happens to you require a reaction? Before you react to anything or towards anyone, think about alternative solutions.
For example, if you know that there is a large pothole in the middle of the street, you will take another route to get to your destination. The same is true when you react to a situation or a problem. The best solution is either to walk away or not respond.
Are you the root of the problem?
Always make sure that you are not the root of the problem. More importantly, make sure you are not the problem. Everyone likes to think that it is not they are innocent. Determine if you are the reason you are in a bad situation is that of your actions. After you determine the cause of the situation make a plan to remedy the situation, if cutting your losses is the best option.
Make an exit plan.
Quitting requires a good exit plan. I am expert at creating an exit plan. But it took practice and some trial an error. I talked to one of my old co-workers today and told him that I am experiencing the same problems I had at my previous job, jealousy and intimidation.
The difference between now and then is that I am not responding to people irrationally. In other words, I am not the stereotypical ghetto chick. But I had to learn how to pick my battles. Always follow the office’s chain of command, keep accurate documentation, and remain calm. If you don’t get the desired results, always remain calm and never let the people in your office know that their behavior is affecting your work.
Your exit plan must include steps that will not negatively affect your reputation and ability to seek other employment. If you need someone on the job that will help you execute your plan, find someone you can trust. I have been fortunate to find people to help me and keep my plan a secret.
You have to do what is best for you. No one can help you decided whether it is best to stay in an unhappy environment. Many people will tell you to stay and fight. But you can make a statement by leaving. Peace of mind is priceless.
- Heather Browning, MBA, BA
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