There are many factors people consider when deciding whether to stay in their current job or to quit. There are also many studies out there that highlight why people from different generations leave their job and even how likely they are to leave their job. Regardless of your generation or your reasons for wanting to leave your job, I encourage you to consider this: Before jumping ship, use your current situation to build the skills you can use to keep your next situation satisfying when you find it!
Hear me out. You spend most of your weeks at your job. When you finally find your ideal job situation (you like the people, the work, the benefits, the culture, etc.), nothing could go wrong! Right? Wrong. Conflict happens everywhere! Sometimes when and where you least expect it! Having conflict, communication, and problem solving skills honed and ready to go can be really helpful!
How do you build and sharpen those skills? Practice, practice, practice. In my personal opinion, the best place to practice new skills of any kind is in a low-stakes situation. For instance, when I practice mountain biking, I’m usually in an empty parking lot with no one else around.
What better place to practice your conflict resolution and communication skills than in a work environment you know you want to leave anyway? This is a low-stakes environment! Practice your skills while simultaneously looking for other positions. Here are five things you can practice in your low-stakes environment:
- Negotiating your salary or job title/position
- Navigating difficult conversations with your supervisor or co-worker
- Improving your working relationship with someone on the team
- Establishing boundaries (e.g., not answering emails after work hours)
- Encouraging your supervisor and team to work on team climate and team values
What worked? What didn’t work? By practicing in these low stakes environments, your skills become habits that will follow you. You will be better prepared when the stakes are high. Who knows? Maybe things will improve to the point that you decide you aren’t ready to change jobs quite yet after all!
Have an ombuds? They can help talk through your situation and think about what to practice in your current low-stakes environment!