When I Quit my Job


I was reading this short post from Seth Godin and I realized that this is exactly one of the top reasons (if not the top one) why I left companies in the past.

When I found myself just doing was I was told to do, it was time to leave. It meant that either the culture of the company, the style of my manager or my attitude toward the job was not right for me anymore.

When my manager tells me what to do too often, there is less room to add value, try things, fail, learn. That’s not good. When I let my manager tell me what to do, it means that my heart is not in it anymore. Either way it is time to leave.

Of course there are times when you just have to do something the way they tell you to do it. It is sometimes part of the (learning) process. Here I am talking about when this is the norm, when this is the prevailing culture. There are very successful companies where this management style just works (I can think of a particularly big one :)), it is just not for me.

Vittorio

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7 thoughts on “When I Quit my Job

  1. Very true, but in my experience most people are too afraid to quit their jobs and so put up with it. But I’m the same as you… we spend far too much of our lives at work to not enjoy it, so when things are as you describe it’s definitely time to move on 🙂

  2. Eehh
    When reading the linked blogpost, I got a feeling that the blogger is having the problem WITH the employees demanding to be told what to do, not doing anything on their own making no decision. And when they do something they allways want to have their back free from responsibility.

    …or did I read it wrong?

  3. @m: you are right. It just made me think about it from both ends. Especially as an employee, for me it is time to go either when I am been told what to do (too often) or when I feel like I want to be told (my heart is not in it anymore)

  4. In my experience, the teams that I have been on and that I have managed have always excelled when they were given objectives, responsibilities, an appropriate dose of direction, and an opportunity to do their very best work. I don’t remember any situations where excellent results were produced by individuals at any level who needed or wanted to be told how to do their job.

  5. I love it when I can hire people that can not only “carry the ball”, but also find the arena, figure out who else is on their team, locate the goal, pick up the ball (or kick it if appropriate), pass or score as needed, and then teach others to do the same.

    The core personality trait here is ownership. When working with a high-ownership employee, each time a manager meddles with how-to directives, (or an employee solicits them, i.e. puts in place a CYA) the two of them are conspiring to take away a piece of the employee’s investment in the outcome. In contrast, high ownership performers usually execute at higher-than-expected levels when managers make room for the employee’s own internal leader. One of the best things a manager can say – “I look forward to seeing how you resolve/deliver/achieve this.”

    In my experience, high performers can’t tolerate frequent episodes of meddling without suffering some level of spiritual decline.

    If you haven’t read it, Seth’s 2007 book “The Dip” is worth a look, particularly the sections on ways to discern when to stick it out, and when to bail.

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