One Key Reason to Change Your Job

The sheer thrill of resigning!

Written by Bob Howard-Spink
Most of us have heard of the expression “demob happy.” Whether we associate it with its military service origins or not, when we hear the phrase we instantly think of that post-resignation period when we’re waiting to leave a job we’ve grown tired of – and those feelings of relief and freedom mixed in with euphoria and anticipation of a new start.
Some of us may also relate to the purple patch that coincides with that notice period. Those amazing few weeks when we have our most creative ideas in years; when we crack problems that have been frustrating us for months; when we seem to be “walking on water” and winning every discussion point with colleagues who suddenly seem way off our pace.
It’s a phenomenon I’ve discussed with colleagues and our general consensus is always about release from all the performance limiters that employment brings:
Fear of failure.
We’re on our way out so what the heck. Let’s ignore the employing culture’s self-limiting beliefs – often disguised as Vision and Values! let’s have fun and take a few risks with the decisions in front of us.
Prevarication and Procrastination.
We’re actually motivated to do things quickly …so we just do it, and it works!
Stifled thinking.
With less worry over the consequences of our decisions and less distraction from 3rd party interference (or apathy) we can apply the mind to some quality reasoning and fresh thinking and come up with good ideas and practical solutions.

High stakes to choke on?

Now that’s a new one that I came across this week. Well actually it was the California Institute of Technology who found it.
Yes they’ve been looking at the way people choke when the stakes are high. It’s something we’re perhaps used to seeing in sport, and final rounds of golf majors and match points in tennis grand slams come to mind, but apparently it happens in business too.
Contrary to the popular belief that high pay improves performance (like banker’s pay as an example) the evidence from this study reported in May 10 issue of Neuron is that fear of losing the prize actually causes performance to suffer. Whilst the study reinforces the belief that financial incentives work, this is only when the stakes are lower. When the prize increases the worry over missing out increases too and the bigger the prize the bigger the worry and consequent deterioration in performance.
This clear pattern emerged in a series of tests where brain activity of participants was measured as they handled tasks at varying levels of risk and reward.
I’m sure the study will be carefully read by members of the corporate remuneration committees that set executive pay (for example bankers.)  And hopefully it will also be studied by public sector employers who know they must pay the best to get the best brains  sic.

Now the idea won’t go away

That soap box comment said, my other thought about this “threat of loss” issue is that it may generally exist as a job hygiene factor in mid life when high rewards are established and enjoyed?
We may be aware of it or it may be dormant, but it’s there niggling away and making us “loss averse” and over-cautious when we know we should be a bit braver and quicker with decisions.
Then should we happen to question our commitment to the job, for whatever reasons, that thought is let out and it won’t go away. From there on the job definitely gets progressively tougher and no fun.
Destined to decline if we stay?
So we’re heading for an inevitable downhill slide are we? Well it’s a thought isn’t it!
As too is the thought of quitting, rediscovering the best in yourself, and starting over in a brand new job.
You may even find yourself walking on water.
Bob Howard-Spink is a supplier of positive attitudes. He runs OnWeGo; a website for people who think they've done as much as they ever will in life and work. Bob supplies inspiration and ideas on work, health and play. He is an advocate for making the rest of your life, the best of your life!
© 2012 Churchill Brook International


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