You’ve Got to Know When to Hold ’em and Know When to Fold ’em

Even though the job market is improving many of my career mentoring clients who don’t like their current jobs tell me that they don’t want to go through the hassle of looking for another job.  While I don’t think it’s a good idea to leave your current job before you find another, I do think it is a bad idea to stay in a job that sucks the life out of your soul.

This article lays out seven signs that it’s time to fold up your tent and move on…

  • You’re not growing
  • You’re company is on the skids
  • You don’t respect your boss
  • You’re undervalued
  • You’ve lost your passion for your job
  • You don’t fit the culture
  • You want something different

Back in 1988, just about this time of year, I was experiencing five of these seven problems.  My company was very strong and going places and I liked my boss. The article suggests that if you meet on of these criteria you should move on.  I met five of them.

I had really lost my passion for my job.  I was underemployed and going nowhere fast inside the company.  It got so bad that I used to do all of my work on Tuesday — no kidding.  The rest of the time I sat in my office and read, made phone calls to my friends or visited with friends in other departments.  I even found ways to schedule some unneeded business travel.

Interestingly enough, I was still getting better than average raises and was secure in my position.  (I realize things have changed dramatically in the past 27 years, and I couldn’t get away with this behavior now, but that’s the way it was back then.  Some people might say I had it pretty good.  I was miserable.  I wanted something different — to be in business for myself.  I felt undervalued.  I certainly wasn’t growing.  I didn’t fit the culture.  All of this added up to a passionless job.

Much of this was my fault.  I could have been more proactive about looking for promotions and opportunities to do interesting work.  So I’m not blaming the company.  But I had to go.

I resigned.  My last day was March 31 1988.  I started my consulting and coaching business with one small client and the guarantee of about $25,000 in fees.  But I was energized.  My passion was reignited.  I knew that I was in a make it or break it situation.  If I succeeded or didn’t succeed, it would be all on me.  Here I am 27 years later, still loving the work I do — and still loving being completely responsible for my success or failure.

You don’t have quit and start a business if you’re experiencing one of the signs in the article, but you probably should start looking for another job — one that will fill you with passion and purpose.

Your career mentor,


PS: I write this blog to help people create the life and career success they want and deserve.  Now I’m going one step further.  I’ve created a membership site in which I’ve pulled together my best thoughts on success.  And, as a reader of this blog, you can become a member for free.  Just go to  to claim your free membership. You’ll be joining a vibrant and growing community of success minded professionals.  I hope to see you there.


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