“If I go there will be trouble, An’ if I stay it will be double” ~ The Clash
The new year is a time for reflection. It’s also a time for renewal. The beginning of a new year is a great time to make a change. In fact, according to Statistic Brain, more than 45% of Americans make a New Year’s Resolution and 47% of those commitments are for self-improvement. Many are seeking a career change due to frustrations with their current jobs.
When do you know if you should stay at your current job or look for a new one?
I began to think about this after a friend contacted me for advice. He works for a large company and has had a long, successful career. Lately though, he has been frustrated with a long line of seemingly short-sided management decisions which have been announced with virtually no explanations.
His question was simple; do I question leadership or do I just stay quiet?
The problem with questioning authority is obvious. You might get cross-threaded with management which could lead to termination or getting passed over for future promotions. Staying silent, however, can lead to frustration, dissatisfaction, disillusionment, and disengagement. This, of course, can also lead to termination or getting passed over for promotions.
I imagine a lot of people find themselves in this situation. If I look back on my career, I can recall times when I strongly disagreed with a management decision but kept my mouth shut to preserve my job and my advancement prospects. It was very frustrating and my ability to lead others suffered because of it.
“Next generation leaders are those who would rather challenge what needs to change and pay the price than remain silent and die on the inside.” ~Andy Stanley
Andy Stanley’s quote from his book, Next Generation Leader: 5 Essentials for Those Who Will Shape the Future, was the basis of my advice for my friend. Remaining silent and dying on the inside is no way to live your life. It’s probably time for him to talk to his boss and voice his concerns but it needs to be done in a respectful manner.
“Question authority; but, raise your hand first.” ~ Alan M. Dershowitz
If you find yourself in this situation, it’s fair to question leadership, but do it in a way that is private, respectful, and considerate. You may find their explanations make sense or they decide to make changes based on your feedback. In this case, you have resolved the conflict in a respectful manner and can go back to enjoying your job.
If, however, you find they don’t appreciate being questioned or their answers don’t make sense, it may be time to start looking for another job. And that’s OK too. It’s better to fully understand your situation and know it’s time to go than stay at a job where you will be unhappy and dissatisfied. Plus, it’s always easier to find a job while you still have one.
The beginning of a new year is a great time to make a change. Where do you stand? Are there unresolved questions in your mind as to the direction of your company? Are you staying silent on major disagreement with management just to save your career? Have you reached the stage of frustration, dissatisfaction, disillusionment, or disengagement?
Consider the words of Andy Stanley and don’t remain silent. It’s acceptable to question leadership, but do it in a way that is private, respectful, and considerate. Their answers will make it very clear what you should do next.
Learn more in my new book, I have the Watch: Becoming a Leader Worth Following.