"You should quit your job when quitting is the next step to a better life." That's what Caroline Ceniza-Levine said in her Forbes.com article, "The Only Good Reason to Quit Your Job." (Feb. 18, 2013)
Makes sense doesn't it? Yet thousands are mired in a job they hate. The reason? Fear. Fear of looking like a failure, fear of income loss in an unpredictable job market, fear of rejection, or fear of having to learn new skills. Paralyzed by fear — especially during the recent recession — many people hang on while quietly seething with frustration or complaining to anyone who will listen.
Experience proves that staying in an unhappy or toxic work situation shrivels creativity and enthusiasm, and makes a person miserable. That often spills over into home life. In the long run, many of these people are forced to leave their jobs anyway because of downsizing, a company merger or a management change.
Overcoming fear while you're still employed is the answer. Here are some tips to help keep you going until you can leave.
• Have a plan. What are your skills and talents, and how will they translate into the type of job you will love?
• If you need to update or improve those skills how will you do it while you're still working in your current position?
• Few jobs open in your line of work? Then explore other industries, nonprofits, and government positions you may enjoy.
• Save an "out of work" fund in case you are laid off or decide to quit before you find a new position. Make sure you have enough to pay for housing, food, bills and emergencies for at least six months.
• Keep yourself hopeful and cheerful through your family, friends, community, civic and religious activities.
• Explore new worlds through travel or hobbies. Often an avocation can turn into a vocation and provide you with the perfect livelihood.
• Stay hopeful. A positive attitude attracts positive results.
Marie Stempinski is president and founder of Strategic Communication in St. Petersburg. She specializes in public relations, marketing and business development. She can be reached through sstratcomm.com or her website, mariestratcomm.com.