I can't proclaim I know it all.
But after close to 10 years of work experience, I have my own reflections and thoughts about when it is time to pack you bags and leave a company.
1. When your boss doesn't like and understand you
I've been blessed in my first job that my bosses likes me, a lot. I was given opportunities (though I felt stress) to do various projects, and I was given limelight. Even when I made mistakes, my bosses were empathetic. I am still young and learning, they said.
I think age might have played a part. Because I was young, I was inexperienced, they were more forgiving. I was also less of a threat to them.
In my next role, I was half lucky. My bosses also like me and were rather kind to me. However, when there was a change in boss to someone just a few years older, things changed. She put on a fake front, and was difficult to engage. As I felt less respected, I was very open in showing my dislike for her as well.
In my current role, I was unlucky. I couldn't click with the boss. She didn't understand what I was doing, and felt my scopes were elementary. Reviews were short and uneventful. She didn't know how to appraise, didn't bother understanding and make stupid assumptions. I tried to explain, but it was evident she wasn't listening. I knew I had to leave, otherwise my end year bonus would be nil.
2. When you are not learning
In my first role, everything were new. I never had anyone guiding me properly. It was always facing issues and winging it on my own. Perhaps that was why my first bosses were in awe - that a fresh graduate could handle things on her own without much guidance. I was pissed then, that there was a lack of leadership. But I realised, I learned the most in my first job. It was here that I had the experience to understand the full spectrum of my work. It was timely for me to move. I wanted to see what's out there.
The next role taught me that NO ONE would guide and teach you. You are expected to figure things out on your own. I was thankful that I had past experiences that guided me in my new role. I had experiences to rebut others when things don't seem to be on the right path. It is here that I realised I have reached a stage where nobody would think I'm young and inexperienced. There is a certain level of expectations and I need to fulfil it. I didn't learn much here. I was using what I learnt in my first role. I decided to leave when an opportunity came.
My current role is the worst in learning opportunities. Again, at my seniority, I am expected to churn results. People look up to me for answers. Yet, I still feel like I'm not there yet. I needed a senior who could teach me more. I was left to churn results on my own. This role gave me the highest autonomy. But in exchange, also the highest "blame".
3. When your boss has no clarity of where the company is heading to
In my first two roles, I wasn't senior enough to bother about the company's direction. I was sheltered and oblivious. Or perhaps, the economic situation wasn't dire. Those were the heydays.
Today, it's isn't. With purported recession coming, layoff news rampant, I am more uptight about the company's future.
In my current role, I learnt to observe management's decisions, make guesses of company's direction based on what I saw or heard. I asked my boss what's the future plans so I can assess how it impacts my work, she's not sure. My team asked her separately as well, she couldn't give an answer except management is still discussing.
I came to understand that if a boss/company is unable to provide clarity to internal staff of where we are heading to, what's the next 3-6 months plan, it shows a lack of management's competence and their inability to engage their internal manpower, who are important stakeholders in executing actions to allow the company to survive or grow.
And hence, I have quit, before I am let go.
I am thankful that I manage to land a better role (higher compensation, new industry) although I started my job hunt in late Aug. I am thankful that lady luck has shined on me, and I pray for continuous luck for life. May 2023 be kind.
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