Should I Stay or Should I Go?

If you have a job, you have asked yourself, “Should I stay or should I go?”
You may have the same question about your location. And, if you’re in a relationship, you undoubtedly have asked yourself the same thing.

Should I stay or should I go?

It’s just human nature to wonder about finding something better.

Last night my fiancé brought home Sunset magazine, with its headline screaming: Best Places to Live! I noticed our town (if you can call Los Angeles a “town”) wasn’t listed.

Does that mean LA is NOT the best place to live? The default answer is right now, it is and we are staying. Not always and forever, but right now we have great work, no house payment, and two great big furniture-eating, hole-digging dogs under two years old. But I have to say, once they lifted the quarantine laws off dogs coming from the US, the south of France started to look really good.

I can complain about why everything here is difficult. The traffic alone makes the case to go (if the traffic would only let up so you could).

Do you feel the same way about work? You feel stuck. You are not sure you have a long-term future in your company. Maybe your issue is you can’t keep working these hours, or reporting to your boss, or sitting in a cubicle, or being isolated at home.

As this economy has crept upward, increasingly people write me, asking whether they should leave their jobs or flee their industries entirely. It is the single most common question I get.

The correct answer is no. Don’t leave. That’s the default answer, anyway. The reason is simple.

No matter where you go, there you are.

Consider that it might not be the job, the industry, the town, or anyone else around you that makes you want to leave. Consider it just might be YOU that you secretly want to leave. You may simply be tired of repeating the same patterns, making the same mistakes, and doing the same old things.

Before you make a move, make a list of what you would like to change about your life – not just work. You haven’t finished until you have written at least 15 things that are making you miserable. In the next column, write down what’s at the root of each misery. Then, in the final and third column, write down the solutions that you can put into play. Consider what you can change NOW about yourself and the way you do things, while you stay in place.

Until you have a strategy for making each of those changes, and you have accomplished ten out of the fifteen: you can’t jump jobs, move out of town or leave your lover.

Big decisions are best made when you can see things clearly. Leaving might be the best thing you ever do, but only if you are leaving having learned how to be the best you can be.