Craig Groeschel - Four Questions To Ask Before You Quit Your Job
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Well, it's no secret that people are quitting their jobs at a record pace. And you might even be asking, "Should I stay where I am or is it time for me to go somewhere else"? Well, in the next two episodes, we're gonna talk about job satisfaction, culture, retention, transition. In this episode, we're gonna answer the question, is it time to move on? The title is Four Questions to Ask Before You Quit Your Job.
If you work at any sizeable company, ministry, nonprofit, you're likely seeing people transition in and out of their roles. And if you're not, I wanted to tell you, celebrate you're in the minority right now. The odds are that you will see people transitioning soon if you haven't already. Our goal is to help them be happy and stay, but what I wanna do is talk about what do we have going on in the world today? And I'll tell you about two very reputable studies on job transition. One is from Microsoft and the other one is from McKinsey, and they report this. Microsoft shows that 41% of employees are considering leaving their job within the next six months. Let that sink in, 41% of your team may be considering leaving right now. McKinsey, I love what McKinsey does, they have a very similar study and they come in at 40%, that's a lot of people.
Now, for my pastor friends, unfortunately, the news is even worse. According to the Barna Group, 42% of pastors are considering leaving full-time ministry. Now, I wanna be clear, they're not considering just leaving their church and going to another church. According to Barna, about 42% are wondering, "Is it too much? Am I really called? Can I go on"? They're considering leaving ministry all together. For my pastor friends out there is really, really tough, and I wanna do everything I can to help you stay encouraged in your faith to make a difference where you are. So, if you're leading anything right now, you're leading a sales team, you're leading a team of architects, you're leading a ministry department, you're leading volunteers at your nonprofit, as many as two in five might be considering quitting or leaving right now. That better gets your attention.
Now, I wanna give a little backstory and some acknowledgements, and I wanna just tell you that this is very, very complicated to teach on. Because if you're a CEO, or if you're an owner of a business, or a department head, or a lead pastor, you're interested in retaining great team members, and you should be. I think like an owner, I hope you think like an owner. And when you think like an owner, you think about employee health, you think about employee satisfaction, you think about employee engagement, you think about retention, and you should. At the same time, as owners, we also care about people. And we want our people, our team members to be at a place where they can maximize their gifts, and we want them to love the work that they do. So, it's complicated because for some of you right now listening or watching, it may be time for you to move on to do what you do at another place.
For others of you, though, honestly, I wanna help talk you off the ledge, and I wanna keep you from making a rash decision that you may regret moving forward. So like I said, it's complicated, and I wanna acknowledge that some of you right now, you're at a company, you're at a job, you're in a role, where you may be very, very frustrated right now. And you might be surprised at how much better your job can be with a change of strategy and approach. You don't really like it right now, but if you approach it in the right way, you may be able to make some changes that actually make you love your current job again. What do we do? There are some problems that you may have at your current place that might be able to be solved if handled wisely.
For example, you may be dissatisfied right now, but your organization may be correcting the problems that are bothering you right now. Or they might be willing to correct some of these problems if you'll help make them aware, they may not even know they're going on. Or you may be under a bad supervisor right now and she's making you crazy, or he's making you crazy, and you may not realize that bad supervisor is not gonna be around three months from now. And so, before you run off, let's look at what we're dealing with and see if we can make it better. And if you do leave and go somewhere else, what I wanna just tell you very clearly is, wherever you go there's gonna be problems there too. Over any given tenure at any organization, you will have times of frustration.
So, let me just say this. Don't let temporary problems lead you to make permanent decisions. If there are temporary and solvable problems, don't let them lead you to make permanent decisions that you're going to regret. Now, at the same time, some of you, you may be in a very bad, very toxic, very unhealthy place right now that negatively impacts your family, your mindset, or maybe even your faith. Or there are some of you where you've done a great job where you are, and you recognize like there's way, way more in you. And so, in some cases, it may be time for you to move on. If it's time for you to move on, if it's time for a change, let's discern what's wise on timing and on the tone of your transition. I'm gonna tell you right now, don't burn the ship without a life jacket.
Let's ask some important questions, and I'm gonna tell you upfront, I'm gonna speak directly to you. I'm gonna push some of you a little bit, I may make you a little bit mad. I have two stated goals for this episode and the upcoming episode, let me put them out clearly to you. Number one, my goal is to help great organizations keep great people. We're gonna talk all about that in the next episode, help great organizations keep great people. Number two, I wanna help great people in mismatched organizations find a better place to use their talents. So, let's talk about it. If you're not settled right now, let's talk about your situation, and help you discern what your next best step might be.
So, before you just up and quit, "I'm outta here, I'm gone". I'm gonna encourage you to slow way down. Don't be rash, don't be impulsive, don't be overly emotional. Two thoughts, many leaders react emotionally, wise leaders respond strategically. Let me say it again, many leaders react emotionally. "Oh my gosh, I can't take it, I'm outta here". Okay? Wise leaders respond strategically, we're not gonna be reacting ever in our leadership, we are responding. So, if you don't like your job and you're thinking maybe it's time to go, I wanna give you four specific questions to ask before you call it quit, are you ready?
Question number one, you're gonna wanna ask yourself this, number one, what specifically is frustrating me? I don't really like it here. I feel like I could be happier somewhere else. What is it specifically that's frustrating you? Ask yourself that. And it's indescribably important for you to get to the root cause of your frustration. Some of the most common frustrations I've seen based on my leadership experience when people don't like where they are it's usually some combination of these reasons. Maybe you don't feel valued, you don't feel appreciated, you don't feel like you're getting enough feedback. You don't feel like you're growing, you feel like you're hitting this ceiling that you just can't get past. The environment doesn't feel right to you, it feels toxic. You feel like your values don't align with the organization values. To you, the work feels tedious and meaningless. The hours might not be ideal for you, they're hard on your family. You might feel like you're grossly under-compensated. Or you feel like the organization is negatively impacting your health or your family.
Here's what I want you to do, clearly define what's frustrating you. What is it? Be very, very specific. And why does this matter? Because if you don't know what problem you're solving, you're likely to have the same problem later. Let me say this again. If you don't know what problem you're solving where you are, you'll likely wake up in some other business, some other ministry and have that very same problem later. Here's what happens, I've seen it so many times. Some people say, "Well, I'm just not happy here". "I just don't like it here". "This job just doesn't feel like it's right for me". I wanna ask you, why? Be very specific. If you can define it, maybe you can solve it. What is the specific problem? If you can clearly define what it is, perhaps you can make things better.
So, question number one you wanna answer is, what specifically is frustrating me? The second question is very important. Is this problem solvable? Can you make it better where you are? And you're probably gonna say, "No, I can't". The reason you're gonna say that is 'cause that's what you feel. You likely feel somewhat powerless where you are, and your feelings may be accurate. In other words, you may not be able to solve the problem. But you have no idea, with some good upward leadership, how many problems are actually solvable if you handle them wisely. Let me give you some examples, you might feel like, "My hours just aren't ideal at this job".
I would ask you, have you asked if you can flex on your hours? Or have you asked maybe, can you work from home one day a week? Or you might say, "I'm not getting enough feedback". And I would say to you, have you asked for feedback? Have you told your supervisor, "I'd really like to meet once a week or once a month for you to coach me, give me feedback". You might say, "I feel underutilized". I would ask you this, have you asked for more responsibility? And I told you I'd pushed you a little bit, let me just be real, real, real, real, real honest. The best leaders don't wait around to be asked. The best leaders find a way to add value, they see a need and they meet it. So for you, maybe the problem isn't that you aren't asking. Maybe for you, you're not taking initiative.
Now, if you do go somewhere else, I wanna say it again, and again, and again. Wherever you go, you'll have problems there too. Some will be different, some will be similar. I like the old quote, someone said, "Sometimes it's easier to fight the devil you know than the devil you don't know". If you know the problem, if you can acknowledge it, specifically the root of the problem, it might be easier to solve where you are than the new problems you have at the new place that you go. So, we're asking four questions.
Question number one, what specifically is frustrating me? The second question, is this problem solvable? The third question, again, I'm gonna push you a little bit. Are you the reason you're unhappy at work? Are you the reason? Let's be honest, all of us, we have other issues. We've got challenges at home. You may have some extenuating circumstances right now that are really weighing on you right now. You may not be getting enough sleep, you may be struggling in your confidence, you've got low self-esteem, you may not feel good about yourself. These could be contributing factors to the reason why you don't really like work. It's something in you more than is something in your job.
On a side note, I just wanna say this. Whenever I teach on a subject, what I'll do is I'll go read a dozen articles or so, I'll listen to some teaching, I'll look to see what others are saying about this. And so, I read a bunch of different articles about when it's time to leave somewhere. And some of the articles were helpful, but I just gotta say, man, some were horrible, I mean, like, horrible. They're writing to a very immature mindset, and I wanna highlight some of what's being said out there. Honest to goodness, these are direct quotes from articles that said, "You might leave if you're always on edge". "You might leave if you're procrastinating more". "You might leave if you've been slacking off".
And I just wanna say, hey, maybe the problem is that you're on edge because you're in a bad middle space right now. Or maybe you're procrastinating more because you're depressed. Or maybe you've been slacking off because you've been staying up way too late playing video games and you're completely exhausted. Maybe the problem isn't where you work, maybe there's an internal problem that you want to address and you might be wise to do that. So, I just wanna tell you, again, consider wisely before quitting. Because we're seeing now so many people they're leaving where they are and then they're wishing that they had not later on.
In fact, there's a lot of articles saying right now the great resignation is turning into the great regret. And now, they're even a few saying, and then it's turning into the great return. They're wishing they could go back to where they started. And so, we have to remember, the grass isn't always greener. And my friend says, "If you look up close where the grass is greener, there's probably poop in their yard too," right? So, if you aren't happy in this job, you may not be happy in another one. You have to ask yourself really honestly, are you the reason that you're unhappy in this job? Is there's something else going on right now that's just making you miserable? And you might wanna deal with it where you are, or you'll have to certainly deal with it somewhere else.
Now, the fourth question is this, and it's very important. You wanna ask your yourself, am I running from something or stepping into something? Am I running from something or am I intentionally stepping to something that I really believe is gonna be better? So, you're considering quitting. Let's make sure you aren't just running from something. What have you done? You're prayerful and you sought wise counsel, and you have clear direction that you're moving towards something that better suits your gifts, your values, and your goals. You aren't just running from someplace you don't like. You're stepping into something that you believe will be better.
Now, if you do leave, let me just plead with you, beg you, inspire you, coach you, leave well, please leave well. There's some people that kind of have this screw-you attitude, like I'm-outta-here mindset. And this is never, ever wise, you're way better than that. How you leave matters more than you could imagine. So, just some simple thoughts if you are leaving. I would suggest resign in person when possible, don't send a text. Give ample notice followed by a written letter. And then, what you wanna do is you wanna finish strong, don't leave things hanging, offer to train your replacement. If you have an exit interview, you can be truthful, be honest, but be kind. And I would just tell you, express gratitude on the way out because here's what's gonna happen. You're gonna go apply somewhere else, and that somewhere else, they may call your employer and ask for references. And even if they don't, please believe me, the world is smaller than you think and it's never ever wise to burn bridges.
Now, there's a lot of you, you're discouraged right now. You're in a place that you don't really like, you don't feel valued, you don't know if this is the right place for you to be. I'm gonna just tell you, make it as great as you can. Whenever you show up, come in with a good attitude. Even if the culture's not good, bring your best. And here's what I want you to remember, any organization is only as great as every team member wants it to be. Think about it, we have a choice. If you come in and bring your best and everyone else brings their best, you can make it better. Any organization is only as good as collectively we make it.
And you have to remember, there's no such thing as great companies or bad companies. What do we have? We only have effective leaders and ineffective leaders. It's the people that make the company. So, if you're under maybe a mostly ineffective leader, you can still learn. Sometimes you learn the most under bad leadership because it helps you know what you can do later on when you are a leader. Wherever you are, what you wanna do is, you wanna bring your best. Fight to see the best in your company, fight to see the best in people, believe the best in those around you. And you make things better, treat people well because you'll never regret doing what's right, but you'll often regret doing what's easy. Let's do a quick review.
As many as two in five employees, wherever you are right now, might be considering quitting. If you are, you're not gonna be rash, you're not gonna be impulsive, you're not gonna be reactive, you're not gonna let temporary problems lead you to make permanent decisions. The challenge is, many leaders react emotionally, wise leaders respond strategically. So, you're gonna ask some questions.
Number one, what specifically is frustrating me? If you don't know what problem you're solving here, you'll likely have that same problem somewhere else.
Number two, ask yourself, is this problem solvable? Because many are and you'll have problems wherever you go. Sometimes it's easier to fight the devil you know than the devil you don't know.
Number three, are you the reason you're unhappy at work? If you aren't in a good place, it's maybe because you're not in a good place. It might be wise to seek a counselor, maybe to get back to church, to be honest about an addiction or an emotional problem. The grass isn't always greener somewhere else. If you aren't happy in this job, you may not be happy in another job.
And number four, you're gonna ask, am I running from something or stepping to something? And if you do leave, you're gonna leave well because how you leave matters more than you can imagine.