Last month I had to have a total knee replacement. Being in recovery means I have had a lot of time to think as I anticipate a full return to health and my regular work schedule. One thing I’ve been thinking about is this Twitter thread:
Random Tweet: If you quit your job tomorrow, a month from now your bosses/coworkers will act like you never worked there and not waste a minute thinking about you.
My friend’s response: So true. The loyalty mismatch between company and employees damages a lot of employees. Not for me personally, but I see a lot of friends stuck in unhealthy environments for too long.
My response: This is always a concern of mine. It’s hard when trying to manage time with new hires and building culture while looking to the future to remain intentional about past, present and future relationships. I think it’s a two-way street initiative incumbent on both company and employees.
This topic is on my mind because I’m seeing as much similarity between being stuck in a hospital bed as there is being stuck in an unhealthy work environment.
I’ve had trouble with my knee for a long time. Early on there were signs…creaks and pains. I hoped after some stretching and an ice pack things would settle down a bit and get better. For a time I would feel back to my normal self. However, the pain always returned and was just a little worse and lasted a little longer than the time before.
Same goes for your job. A work relationship might hit a sour note, a project goes off the rails, you question whether you have the right DNA for your organization, or you start to have vision drift. Often, it gets to the point where the discomfort is so bad you have to stop and assess whether you can (and should) hang in there any longer. At some point comes the crossroads moment when you realize you need a total, drastic, complete overhaul to fix the problem rather than risk permanent damage.
For my knee, it happened when I landed wrong during a tennis match. I’ve had no choice but to grit my teeth and endure pain and procedures until I came to the point where I could not foresee having to continue in this manner and finally agreed to schedule surgery.
Was it an easy decision? No. Was the timing inconvenient? Yes. Is there fallout to recover from? Absolutely. Will it be worth it? God only knows, but I’m hopeful there’s a better plan on the other side for me. There’s never a right time to pull the trigger on a significant change, but you come to the point when you know things are so bad that it has to be done. You know the pain of the present will be well worth the gain in the future.
If you’re starting to feel the nagging voice of discontentment, jealousy or unfulfillment in your current position, take time to assess whether it’s a Holy discontent or an unholy attitude. When your knee hurts, you see a doctor. When your heart hurts, who’s your specialist? It could be a trusted advisor, mentor, close friend, pastor, spouse, maybe even the boss can shed light on your situation! Don’t leave those feelings unchecked; search your heart for the reality of your situation and face it head on.
Romans 12:2 commands that we regularly renew our mind when it says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (ESV)
If you continue to stay stuck too long, the damage will only worsen making the next steps all the more messy and complicated. When it’s time to make a big decision, either decide to stay with all you have and change your attitude, or be sure to leave well in a way that honors and pleases God by honoring your coworkers, your company, yourself and doesn’t burn unnecessary bridges or bring disgrace or dishonor to any of the parties involved. Will it be an easy decision? No. Will the timing be inconvenient? Probably yes. Is there fallout to recover from? Depends on how you leave. Will it be worth it? God only knows, but I’m hopeful there’s a better plan and easier path on the other side for you.
No matter how your world is rocked, we can have peace knowing that, “For even if the mountains walk away and the hills fall to pieces, My love won’t walk away from you, my covenant commitment of peace won’t fall apart. The God who has compassion on you says so.” Isaiah 54:10 (MSG)
Rob Hoskins is the President of OneHope. Since taking leadership of OneHope in 2004 he has continued to advance the vision of God’s Word. Every Child by partnering with local churches to help reach more than 1.5 BILLION children and youth worldwide with a contextualized presentation of God’s Word.