How does a person decide whether to leave work for good, or just take a break? Do you stay for the money, the benefits, the chance for promotion? Do you leave for your health, your family, your sanity? All good questions. Thus the dilemma, do I or don’t I?
I guess the first thing to consider is what is making you feel like you want to leave at all. If you’re just tired of working, or the job itself, perhaps making a change is a better alternative. Of course, there is always the vacation or leave if a break is all that is needed. Maybe you just need a different position with your current employer. Check out the options open to you if that’s the case. Sometimes a change is as good as a break.
Maybe some additional training or school is in your future. Check out any courses that are available to you to better your education and that interest you as well. School without interest is not going to amount to anything for you. Perhaps your employer offers in house training that will help you succeed to get that promotion that you crave.
What if the reason you want to leave is bigger than that? What then? Well, a lot of that depends on the “why”. What if your health is being affected in a negative way? That’s not good for anyone, you or your employer. Stress, no matter how great or minimal can affect you in an adverse way. Trust me, this I know. Having been in a high-stress career for over 20 years I can tell you it does affect you. Not the headaches, the body aches, the things you can see. It’s the unseen that is the worst. Toxic worry or stress can be a killer, literally.
What if working and your family commitments are greater than you can manage? That’s not good either. It’s hard to balance sometimes. Most middle aged people, sorry guys, mostly middle aged women, are sandwiched between looking after parents, in-laws, children, and sometimes grandchildren as well. Of course, that doesn’t mean that their immediate family and household duties are on hold. They are still there. No matter how much laundry you do or dusting, it’s always still there. Just turn around and you’ll see what I mean! 🙂
What if your personal pride and reputation are at stake, then what? You’ve been doing a superb job. Senior management has told you so. Your district manager makes a special trip more than once to tell you what a great job you’re doing and how valuable you are to the company. You’re work record speaks for itself and everyone you work with tells you how much they enjoy working with you. They also tell you that you’re a wealth of knowledge and they count on you all the time.
The downside of that is that management piles on more and more responsibility without any authority to go with it. They acknowledge that is the case, but still do nothing. Having been in emergency services for over 20 years I can tell you without question to have responsibility you require authority as well.
What if someone has been lying about you and your behavior because she is after your job? What if she just can’t stay in her own lane and her own department? What if she is influencing the people who work with you into believing her instead of their own eyes and ears? What if she has sabotaged your performance to make you look incompetent? What if when she does work with you, she is completely insubordinate and disrespectful? What then? The answer is obvious, you go to management and report it right? One would think that would be the answer. What if you went to your senior management team no less than 8 times and nothing was done, even though they promised they would look after it?
What if you follow instructions from your management and this particular person(s) doesn’t like it? What if they decide to go to your Human Resources Department and lodge a complaint against you, even though you didn’t do anything to them?
Did I mention, this has been going on for about a year already?
What if management decides to convict you without an investigation of any kind, other than a quick chat with you and the other parties and reminds you of the Respectful Workplace Policy? What if your manager tells you that you shouldn’t be the one named on the complaint, it should be them? What then?
What if, you resign because of this unfair treatment? You think about it, it makes sense. So you resign, based on the treatment you have received. Then your Human Resources department asks you to reconsider. So you do! You return to work in the same position, same pay, same responsibilities, no authority, no change at all.
What if your accuser/attacker continues to attack? More subtly this time around. Simple glares at you as you walk by. Not saying thank you when you open the door for them, or responding to your “Good Morning.” Continues to influence your co-workers against you. Like I said nothing changed.
So, you’re plugging along trying to do the best job you can under the circumstances and then surprise, surprise you get called into another meeting. Curious what this one is about, then they nail you right between the horns! You are read a letter written by the manager himself under the direction of the Human Resources department. It states that you have been abrupt to some of the staff and have had a negative impact on morale. What? This is a shocker! Never heard that before.
So, you have been tried and convicted of a accusation without the courtesy of an investigation. Management and the Human Resources department have not spoken to anyone other than yourself and the accuser(s). Remember, you went to management about these accuser(s) more than 8 times and nothing was done and now they’re convicting you!
So, now what? With your pride in tact, you write your resignation letter. Your husband jumps on board and writes a letter of the events from his point of view. Both very well written letters I might add. You send them into all senior management, effective immediately. Phew! You have finally broken free. You’d think so, wouldn’t you.
No such luck. Human Resources contacts you and asks you to reconsider again, because you are such a valuable employee. So valuable, that nothing was done before now? You explain how you feel about the treatment you have received and that no investigation was done. How can that be? So, they ask you to put your resignation on “pause” until they complete their investigation. So you do.
Now you wait. You provide names of all the people you worked with who should have been interviewed already. The list is long and none of them agree with the accuser(s). Why didn’t they talk to all these people before now?
So what are you thinking while all this is going on in the background? You’re thinking do I really want to go back to a place that would allow someone to be treated this way? No, you don’t. But, wait a minute! What about the money, the benefits, the discount? All comes into play. Can you survive without the money? Can you survive without the benefits, the discount? Of course you can!
So what now? You have no choice but to wait while they finish their investigation. You’re a reasonable person. You know these things take time. Nevermind the sleepless nights you’ve spent, the lack of focus during the day. The effect it is having on your family, friends and the co-workers who miss you and are now being interviewed. At least you hope they are.
What about your health? Is it being affected? Of course it is! You can’t have sleepless nights and think that your body isn’t paying the price. Remember those unseen stressors? They’re lurking in the background waiting to attack. Remember, your own health history? Is it worth sacrificing again? Life is all too short on it’s own without helping it along.
What to do? You flip flop between going back and not. The money sure was nice after all. Gave us those little extras that everyone needs. The working, itself was good for the soul, and the body. Kept the cobwebs out of the attic and the body moving. The self pride of a job well done at the end of every day was good for the spirit. The discount sure helped out.
So, there in lies the dilemma…Do I or Don’t I – How to Decide.