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When is it time to go?

1st Jun 2021
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Career advice, Tuesday with Ron, Strategy Focused Group, Career

I  have encountered numerous HR professionals musing about the difficulty of doing their profession in an organization that could care less.  They read and discuss where HR is headed, but in their current space, it is light-years away.  They want more, they dream of more, but they get no more.

After one blog post of mine, someone wrote to me about the frustration she faces.  After years of toiling in the transactional nature of her job, it is to a point where she wants to pull her hair out. Her dream and focus are on how HR could really help the business, whether it’s talent management, strategic workforce planning, or tying HR to the organizational goals.  However, her manager loves the transactional aspects and does not want to touch the strategic aspect.  Not only that, but leadership is not interested in HR. Just process the work involved and stay out-of-the-business is the mindset.

Sometimes in our careers, we see the writing on the wall, but it is like we have on the wrong prescriptions, and it is not clear.

But deep down inside, we can make out with clarity, but we refuse.  Sometimes it is just time to go. This clarity is something we should welcome.  As we see the light, it should be welcomed as this is a new opportunity, and you are now going to reach that destination.

It will never work out

So often, we get blind-sided and hope that things will work out.  The fact is that it will never work out.  You can always stay and hope for the best.  However, when you wake up that morning, and it is confirmed, you will realize that you should have left a long time ago.  You will realize that this decision was so clear for some time, but you did not face up to it.

However, there is no need to be dismayed as we all sometimes stayed too long for a whole host of reasons.

However, we all have a built-in mechanism that gives us signals that it is time to go.  I call it the Sunday afternoon zone.  When you get into that space, and you are dreading Monday morning, that is your body subconsciously telling you that there is something wrong.  We miss-diagnose this feeling so many times and chalk it up to the Sunday afternoon blahs.

However, we are being sent signals that this is not where we should be.

Change is transformational

We are not the only profession experiencing change, but some of our leaders are still stuck in the old school mentality and old school ways.  In many ways, they have done more damage to this profession than any sculpture could have ever done.  Their reluctance to grow, educate leadership and help their organization move forward has caused such a schism that would take at least a generation to eradicate.

The good news is that there is a great level of new leaders in superb organizations who understand and have educated their leaders and peers on the importance of what we do.  They are blogging, speaking, and leading this front of the new approach of HR.

In the end, it is your decision

In your career, no one is holding you in your place. There are lots of opportunities out there, so never feel that you have no place to go.

I received a note from someone saying that there are only a few organizations in her town with dedicated HR departments.  My comment was that no one is holding you there.  If you are serious about what you want, you may have to move to get it.

You can’t have it drop into your lap in your small town.

The great career decision

The secret to any person’s career is to know when it is time to go.  It is time to go when your aspirations and directions do not sync into what your organization is doing.  This does not mean that as soon as you get ticked off, you prepare your exit strategy.  What it does mean is that you have to look at the overall picture.  If in your diagnosis you do not see the link-up, monitor it over a while but know that in the end, for the sake of your career, you will have to decide.

It is important to remember that your love for your profession and the destination you are headed should be in sync with what you are doing.  Your destination should allow your career decisions to become more focused.

So, you have to remember that YOU are in charge of your career, not your manager, and certainly not your organization.  Because in the end, when you look in the mirror, that face that stares back is the one that you have to blame.

It starts with you.

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