Sunday Night Gut Check – Know When to Quit Poor Leadership

During the first year of my career, Sunday evening often left me with a feeling of dread, knowing that Monday was just around the corner. In theory, I liked my job—I was working for the digital department of a global PR agency, gaining valuable experience, working for a respected company and I had plenty of opportunities for advancement—but in reality, I was miserable, largely because I didn't have the leadership I needed from my boss. One week into my new job, he stopped by my desk in the middle of the afternoon to let me know that he was heading home, offering no explanation. I asked if he might give me some direction on the project I was working on before taking off, since I was just getting started with things. He agreed, and then proceeded to walk away and ignore my request, leaving me to fend for myself. This was the first of many occasions that left me wondering whether the position I was in was right for me. More incidents soon followed. He went on to require that I run all of my work and ideas through him before moving forward, and then disappeared for days or weeks at a time, letting our projects slip behind schedule. As a new grad, this terrified me. Had I make the wrong decision? Did anyone else feel this way? Should I look for another job, even though all of the career advice I could find find told me to stick it out for at least a year? I certainly wasn't the first to experience feelings of doubt, nor will I be the last (there are currently 463,000 results for "hate my job" in Google)—but there's no reason to let poor leadership lead you into hopelessness. Here are a few lessons I've learned that may help you deal with an unsatisfactory job as a result of poor leadership. 1. Talk to Others in Your Field It's hard to evaluate your current situation if it's your first "real" job and you have nothing to compare it to. My gut told me that what I was experiencing wasn't right, but it wasn't until I talked to friends who worked for other agencies, or even other roles within my own agency, that I realized something might actually be off—that I had been left to fend for myself a few too many times. 2. See if You Can Redefine Your Current Role In today's economy, it's not always easy to find another job. In most cases, it's worth talking to another manager or someone in human resources about how to improve your current situation before jumping ship. When I put in my two weeks notice, everyone in HR expressed regret that they didn't have the chance to make things better for me. The trouble was, I never thought to go to them, and I kept these issues to myself until it was too late. 3. If It's Still Not Right, Don't Be Afraid to Leave If things aren't improving after talking with a manager or HR, it may be time to move on. I don't care if the general rule says that you have to stay on your first job for at least a year—your sanity and personal growth are more important. Disliking your job can be downright depressing and unhealthy. It's ok to admit that things just aren't getting better and move on to something new. Your career is a huge part of your life, so feeling doubt about your job or manager can be difficult to go through. If you have gone through a similar experiences, I'd love to hear your thoughts on how you handled it.


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