CNN Money recently reported that according to a new survey of 9,700 full-time employees in eight of the world’s largest economies, the top three reasons workers quit their jobs are (1) minimal wage growth, (2) a lack of advancement opportunities and (3) excessive overtime.
What the article does not go on to explain is, what happens to these employees once they quit? Do they end up taking a higher paying job elsewhere with better advancement opportunities and no overtime? Or do they end up in the same (or worse) situation at another company? I suspect the latter.
I worked as an executive recruiter in Japan for many years. Occasionally I would be contacted by a serial “job jumper” looking to make a change for one or more of the reasons mentioned in the survey above. Sometimes they would end up getting a bump in salary and/or responsibility. Many times they wouldn’t. And usually 18 to 24 months later, they would be calling me again to help them find the next “big gig”.
What is crystal clear to me is that we all have the ability to create the present, and future, that we desire no matter what the situation. This concept is called being at-cause, at-choice or fully responsible. If you are at-cause, you focus on the ultimate success of your projects. You don’t waste time and energy worrying about how things got to be the way they are. Being responsible means you experience a sense of pure freedom — freedom to act. Freedom to achieve unlimited abundance no matter where you work or what your vocation is.
I learned to be at-choice while in the Marine Corps — Marines quickly learn to adapt, improvise and overcome. To successfully complete the mission no matter what the circumstances are. (Marines don’t quit and jump to the next mission because of low wages, poor advancement opportunities, and excessive overtime.) And for over 25 years of martial arts practice, I’ve learned that things are never as bad as you think they are and there is always something you can do. Stuck on the ground with a 250 pound person on top of you? Great! Stay calm, breathe and use leverage to easily escape and reverse the situation.
If you are not making enough money in your current position, what is stopping you from creating so much massive value for your company that they have no choice but to pay you more? Or if you desire to advance to the next level, why not create a plan that takes you there, get others involved to help you, and successfully execute it? And what about excessive overtime? There are a million ways to handle this. Check out Tim Ferriss’s bestselling book, The 4-Hour Workweek for a bunch of examples including the 80-20 rule (also called the Pareto principle), batching techniques, and my personal favorite: virtual personal assistants! I’be been using Zirtual’s service for years. Check them out at www.zirtual.com — they are the best. And I promise to address these and other productivity tools in future blog posts…
So if you are not happy with your job now, what are you going to do about it? Quitting and moving to the next gig won’t help. Soon you’ll find yourself in the same situation as before. However, being at-cause, being truly responsible to create what you want, regardless of your “situation”, will produce dramatically different results. If you are stuck professionally and need some help getting to the next level in your career or if you are considering leaving your job for one of the reasons mentioned in the CNN article, leave me a reply below — I’ll get back to you right away with some at-cause, at-choice Mushin Way ideas for you to consider!