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Chapter 16. Fighting Fire with Water— Yo... > Quitting Immediately - Pg. 169

Fighting Fire with Water-- Your Difficult-Boss Options 169 Laying Down the Groundwork for Leaving If your boss or company is making you miserable and you can hold on for at least a little while, this is a better strategy than quitting immediately. Really, all we're talking about here is preparing to leave by quietly exploring other job opportunities or transfers, networking (again, quietly), sprucing up the old resume, and mapping out your potential job market. I think every employee should go through this process once every five years at a minimum. I'll tell you why. It strengthens you and reduces fear by reducing the uncertainty associated with moving on. Is that important? Yes. It's amazing how much easier it is to protect your mental health and act with integrity when you have in place some plan of action to deal with the consequences of speaking up, or speaking out. Even if you end up realizing you aren't that employable elsewhere, at least you know where you stand, and any reduction of uncertainty is good. From the Manager's Desk Having a contingency plan to go to if the "stuff hits the fan" allows you to act according to your principles. It's always a good thing to stay prepared for job searching and create options for yourself. Call it a safety net that gives you confidence. So, when you realize your situation is unpleasant, then start preparing that backup plan. Here are some things to do: · · · · · · · · · · Update your resume-writing skills. Read a book or two. Redo your resumé. Think about possible job markets and positions you might want. Decide what's important for your next job (money, status, responsibility, a normal boss). Upgrade your interviewing skills. Network by joining associations and making some social calls. Read a few current books on management (if only to know the current buzzwords to use). Quietly explore transfer options in your firm (but be aware that it's hard to keep such things quiet). Do a skill assessment--what are your strengths and skills? Get a feel for your job market possibilities. Are there jobs open? Are there fields related to what you do now where you could make use of your skills? You can do these things over time. After you have positioned yourself to move on, it makes using other options much easier. Knowing you have other employment options gives you strength to stand up to that bully of a boss, or the boss that asks you to act dishonestly. And you can continue to try to change things within your company while you are there, secure in the knowledge that if you get your bottom booted out you will survive and even excel. Preparing to move on is a good holding action. It leaves you with the most flexibility, and can be used with many of the other options available to you. In fact, it should be used with the other options.