Four women in my small circle leaving high paid, professional career positions in one year. For me that is statistically pretty significant especially when HR managers around the country have spoken publicly about the difficulty they are having in keeping highly skilled women in the workplace.
While the reasons women leave good positions is varied what I’m hearing and reading about in terms of why they leave good jobs falls into the following categories:
- Frustration dealing with personalities and colleagues who aren’t professional or all that skilled
- Unable to justify the cost in time and dollars of commuting to work
- Strong, burning desire to have more control over earnings and work hours also called the “entrepreneurial bug”
We really have left the era of where work was just something you did until you built up enough pension to leave. I’ve always looked at work as something that MUST be about the things in my life that I consider important.
My husband and I have moved across state lines and even countries to accept job offers that reflect our personal interests and life priorities.
I think some friends thought we were a little nutty in deciding to move so often with our household belongings and babies in tow, but we have tremendous memories and experiences from our many moves. We feel blessed to have our health and to have the choices we have as residents of an affluent continent like North America.
Of course it also helps to have dual citizenship and grandparents who will travel to babysit in a pinch!
My friends’ recent experience with abrupt career changes highlights another fact we can’t ignore – there is no more job security. We hear plenty about companies closing in this struggling economy or going offshore for cheaper labor. The message is pretty clear: you are expendable.
You can’t look upon employment in any company or organization as a sure thing anymore. Each of us has to look upon our skills and abilities as our personal assets and then figure out how best to market and secure the best compensation for the abilities we have honed and developed.
Headhunters, job boards and good networking can help to get you into the career you want. But it will be up to you to market yourself so that you can get that job that truly fits your idea of quality, satisfying work.
The same applies to your business. If you have a skill, profession or interest that is steering you towards entrepreneurship, what’s holding you back? Research, talk to others and don’t lose site of that goal. The Internet has opened up a WORLD of opportunity allowing more people with modest resources to start businesses of their own.
I realize that sometimes we have to do what is necessary to care for our families and address urgent needs like health care and housing. But I have never understood how healthy, able people torture themselves in jobs that are life draining and toxic. Life is too short for that.
I have a career that is ideal for me and I’m thrilled that I’m also able to pursue my entrepreneurial goals as a business writer. My life is very purposeful. My thought process has always worked something like this (for better or worse!):
- This is what I love and what gets me up in the morning, so…
- How can I find a job that allows me to do this work for competitive compensation AND/OR
- Start a business around my passion to give me the independence I’ve always cherished
For more than 15 years these questions have guided our family and I doubt that will ever change. Both my husband and I have learned tremendously from the different and amazing people we have worked with through the years, in different countries and states as our clients, colleagues and business partners.
Work need not be a four letter word. We need it to survive so why not ensure that what you do fits in with your life priorities?
Are you running a business or in a career that reflects some goal or passion in your life? If so, please share your comments here!