Made for Change with Dr. Janny Chang

Ep. 10: When You Do Decide to Leave Your Job, How to Use Thoughtwork

July 03, 2022 Dr. Janny Chang Season 1 Episode 10
Made for Change with Dr. Janny Chang
Ep. 10: When You Do Decide to Leave Your Job, How to Use Thoughtwork
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, I delve into one of the major tools I use as a life coach and that's thought work. I use a model that's based on causal coaching and it involves analyzing our thoughts and linking our thoughts to our feelings and actions. This is the foundational tool to use for deciding whether to leave or stay at your job. In either case, I recommend that you look at your thoughts and your reasons for your decision and recognize that it's a choice that you're making to stay or leave.

I also talk about the red flags you should look for in any workplace situation. This includes a mismatch of your values and the culture and industry of your work and other types of caveats. However,  whatever you decide to do, you want to make a decision from a place that is from the desire to grow and evolve, that's more overpowering, then you wanting to avoid pain.  In this episode, you will learn why it's so important to clean up your thoughts and process your emotions when deciding to make a huge life change such as leaving your job.

Right, so that's Hello, hello. I'm going to also start multiple platforms here. Okay, hello, we are live. Hello, I am Dr. Janny Chang, I'm a certified life coach. And I help women with career change burnout and stress. And I help them to navigate job and career changes with ease and clarity and confidence. And what I wanted to go over this as part of my workshop series, three day workshop series on burnout, stress and creating the life that you want.

And today I'm going to talk today I'm going to talk all about when to know how to know when to quit, okay, any red flags are saying, all right, I'm just making sure all my platforms are in order. I am just to let you know, I'm on Zoom. And that video is gonna get uploaded to YouTube. I'm also on Facebook Live. And I'm also on Instagram Live. Alright, so workshop day two on burnout, stress and creating the life we want. So yesterday I went over how to deal with the stress. And not just the stressor in our lives in order to prevent or reduce burnout symptoms that come with chronic stress. Now how do you know when it's time to quit or make a change in your life with regards to your job or career. So I'm going to go over some of these items or tools to use to think about this. The first is when I what I talked about yesterday is practice completing the stress cycle response, right process the stress and not just the stressor. That means sticking to the 20 to 60 minutes, a day of activities recommended to process stress, right? See how that changes your experience at work. And that includes affection, hugging, exercise, any physical activity, actually, creative engagement, right and all the other recommendations I gave in yesterday's workshop. Okay, so that is one of the first tools to look at. Okay, and then now, if that changes your experience at work, all the better. The next tool is to evaluate your current situation, the job you're in in a way that gives you your power back. And the best way to do this is to start with the assumption that you will be happy and successful with either choice you make, whether you quit or stay or happiness is not based on making a right or wrong decision. Your happiness depends on how you think about your decision. The first assumption that you will have is that you are in your current job by choice. Now you might say well, I have to pay the bills have to support my family. Right.

That's why I'm here. But here's the thing and you may not like what I have to say You don't have to be there, you really don't plenty of people don't pay their bills, or support their families, or they choose other types of jobs. Right? No matter how dire your circumstance, let's start from the assumption that you are there by choice, you are choosing to be there. And yes, it might be because you're supporting your family and other obligations, but you are still making a choice. Alright, so let's start with that assumption that no one's forcing you to be there. The second assumption is that we have to like our reasons for staying in this job. So what are your reasons? Maybe it's, you know, maybe it's the commute, maybe it's the flexibility at work, maybe it's the status of your title. Or maybe it's that you've worked so hard to get to where you are, to get that degree, and you are choosing to use it in this way. Whatever it is, jot down your reasons, and rate each reason, on a scale of one to 1010 being the strongest, and one being you know, that you don't really, you know, you don't like that reason for being there. Are you liking your reasons for staying there, go through the reasons and rate them and look at them. If they're all below fives, that might be an indication, right? That it's time to make a change. Now, if you do make a change, you do want to do it from a place of desire to evolve and grow and expand rather than out of fear, or hate for your current situation. Right? This goes to my third tool, which is the model. And this is this, it's called thought work. It's a process. One of the process is I use How was trained at the Life Coach School. And it can be a powerful tool for helping you make decisions, and discern which struggles, you want to help you grow and evolve and which ones are telling you it's time to leave that situation. And so thought work, or the model, I'll show you a bit of that is based on what's called causal coaching. And it's not about just treating the symptoms of pain or shortcomings. It's about finding the root cause of each symptom, understanding it, and then making change for new seeds of success and fulfillment. Now, thoughts are one of the main reasons for your experience at work. Yes, there are toxic workplaces, and I will get into that. But what we can control our thoughts, they play a significant part. In our experience, our thoughts contribute to the experience that we have at work, feelings, or the emotions or vibrations that we have in our bodies, and they are directly related to our thoughts. Anger, sadness, excitement, as soon as we have, we might think our feelings come from something that's outside of us, like our job is causing us to be unhappy. But it actually comes from our thoughts about our job. We have over 40,000 thoughts a day. And we're not always consciously aware of them all, but they are the reasons for the feelings that we have. Now, a prime example is say your partner, your roommate, forgets to take out the trash, you might think he never does what he should. And he makes me mad. Right? But it's not really your husband or your partner, your roommate that's causing the feeling. It's the thoughts you have about it. That gives you the feeling of being mad. Now, how does this translate to the workplace? Let's start with just these questions. Okay, you can ask yourself these questions when you're deciding whether to stay or leave. What are my thoughts about my current situation at work? For example, my job I don't like my boss, I am underappreciated, right? Jot down the recurring thoughts, the strongest recurring thoughts that you have? Then you jot down the associated feelings with the strong recurring thoughts, and really sit with yourself in stillness to figure out what it is you're feeling. You might actually feel sadness. When you think I hate my job. You peel away those layers, right? What emotion you're, you're feeling the most? What is that? What is it that you're actually feeling when you think about your overall experience at work? That's making you want to leave.

Then you ask yourself, what do I want to be feeling at my job or what work as a contrast, do I want to actually in contrast to be fulfilled? Do I want to feel joyful? Do I want to feel happy when I go to work, then you ask yourself this, whatever it is, I want to be feeling at work, what thought would create the ceiling for me, it might be I make a difference here, or I am learning and growing so much, try to stick to that one thought or feeling. So if you are, you know, so you want to feel joyful. That's the primary primary motion, why feel, can choose that one thought that will generate that feeling for you. And then ask yourself this, if I want to stay here, and I have this thought, I'm making a difference here. And I really feel that I'm making a difference here. You know, what kind of actions would I be taking? Would I be connecting to my colleagues more, maybe I'd be asking my supervisor for projects that I want to be a part of, maybe I draw clear boundaries, so that I can be fully rested when I come to work, to make a difference, and to feel joy. The action line is where you have a bunch of items, these are literally the actions that you'd be taking, if you were to come from this place of joy, this feeling you want to have, and the thoughts that you want to practice when you're, you know, the thought that you're making a difference, right. And so one of the things that I can do here

what that looks like, I'm gonna show you right now. stance. And that's going to be something that's really objective, right, that you have a job, it's factual. And then you're going to have

thoughts, feelings, and actions. And this is just a tool, this is a tool to understand what's going on in your mind to help you make decisions. And, you know, this could just be very factual work. At X, some job, right. And your thought is, you know, it could be I hate it here. And you would really dig into what kind of ceiling you have, and the actions you take, when you think, you know, I really hate being here, my job. Right? And that's to uncover what is called the unintentional model, because it's what your brain is going through, when you're thinking this thought, I hate it here, and what kind of actions you take. Right? And the result is that you're contributing to your experience of really hating or having, you know, having a be less than desirable experience at your workplace. So it's really trying to get to what role you have in this experience you're creating for yourself, right? And then the intentional models, like when I talked about reflecting on what kind of feeling do I want to have the intentional, because maybe I want to have joy when I go to work? And so what kind of thought would I would I want to practice or have in order to experience that joy? And what kind of actions would I take to, to be able to experience that joy? And you have to practice this new thought that and make a difference here, for example, right? And so the point of this exercise, okay, is really, it's to say, if I practice this thought and feeling and I took these actions, how would I change my experience here? Would it be enough for me to stay? And the reason is, we want to make decisions that come from a clean place of thinking, right? That means it's not because of fear for what you're about to do next. And it's also not because of, you know, hatred or pain that you're feeling in your current situation. I mean, that could be a part of it, but we don't want that to be the overwhelming emotion as you're deciding to make that change. And that because remember, even if you decide to leave, you will take your the same brain with you the same thoughts. The new job won't suddenly just give you joy Right, there's no perfection in any career or job, you're actually probably going to trade one dysfunction for another. Right? So before making that decision, you got to clean up your thoughts, right? And by that, I mean, you want to make a decision from a place that is from the desire to grow and evolve, that's more overpowering, then you wanting to avoid pain. Okay? Right. So how do you determine then what you really want? This is how to think of it in the absence of guilt, obligations, insecurity, or shame. And towards that feeling that I want to have about my job, maybe its joy or a sense of purpose. Maybe it's constantly being challenged, what decision would I then make, right? Let's say that you hate your job, and you suddenly quit from a conflict that you've had with someone at work. Now, remember, from yesterday's workshop, you're going to want to deal with the stress that you feel itself, not just the stressor, because just because the job is no longer there and you've left it, you're still going to have that feeling of stress that you're going to need to process. That fight was someone at work with that conflict, the drama, the bad taste in your mouth, from when you suddenly quit, you're going to need time to process all of that stress. Now you go into a new job. And look, it might just worked out worked out perfectly fine. But it helps to learn the tools to help you process stress and be more aware of your thoughts, right, because it's only a matter of time before the honeymoon period wears off. And you start seeing your news job, you start seeing it as the culprit of how you feel. And as we know, it's not the job that's causing you the unhappiness, right? It's your thoughts about your job. And when you think of it that way, you take the power back your own power back, because no job should have that much power over you. Right?

To be able to dictate how you feel, or your sense of self worth. And yes, burnout is real, toxic workplaces are real. And I'm gonna go over some of that in a little bit. But we do want to operate from a framework that's empowered, where we get to decide experience, we haven't worked. And also even making a major change making that decision. We want to be able to do that from a place again, from that desire to grow and change, as opposed to the avoidance of fear or hating something, right. So no matter what we want to focus on what we can control within these constraints. Right. So that's why being using the model, okay, and being aware of our thoughts and emotions, always a useful tool for discerning which struggles are worth it. And which ones that tell us it's time to quit, right. And that's making use of the prefrontal cortex of our brain, we want to make decisions from there, you know, not just the primitive part, which is to avoid pain and seek pleasure, or relief from the prefrontal cortex where it's deliberate, and intentional. And based on decisions, that service. Alright, so now, this is now gets to number four, the fourth tool. Another thing to remember is that there's no reason to stay in limbo, okay, you either decide to stay, or you leave. So much of the mental drama that my clients go through, is the inability to make a decision, should I go Should I stay. And it's not just about jobs, right could be about anything in your life, right? It could be a move, or geographic move. Really, the thoughts you have about a decision are totally optional. At some point, when you decide, you also just choose to like your decision. And the reasons for that decision, you commit to it. Right? You are making that choice. So if you decide to stay, you want to be committed to that decision, by using the tools and supportive that to process the stress. You practice the thoughts and you'll be aware of the feelings that support that decision. And remember, it doesn't have to be forever. The decision you make doesn't have you forever, you can always make a change, but it deserves a full commitment of you know, months or weeks, however long you decide to be able to give it a fair shot that you commit to it for that extended period of time. Remember that your happiness is not based on making a right or wrong decision. Your happiness depends on how you think about that decision. And you can ask yourself some of these questions that can help you What would your experience be like if you just made a choice? What would you need to think and feel to make a decision

and more important than either choice is just the act of deciding. Making a decision means making progress. Making a decision means you're actually on the journey. Notice that by staying stuck into indecision, neither help people nor treat your time is valuable by moving on, you're not on the journey to anywhere, right? And actually staying in limbo is making a decision, you are staying stuck, you are choosing to to to stagnate, right. So I posted elsewhere, some of the posts about codependent tendencies that are reinforced at the workplace. And I look at it from the academia and high higher edit sector, I looked at nonprofit and NGO sectors and the corporate industries. Now we talk about codependent tendencies, because we do have some individual agency and drawing boundaries and creating experience we want at work. But there are also red flags to be aware of the Telus it might be time to make a major change. And that can happen in entire industries, where boundaries are violated over and over again. And there are definitely some red flags to note when you're deciding to leave your job or an entire industry. And here, I want to go through some red flags, red flags to kind of ask yourself and to observe. Right. The first is work culture so important. What is the culture like, is a collaborative or cutthroat? What culture would you like to be in? If there is a mismatch? That's a red flag. Sometimes there's a mismatch between a person and an entire industry, right? There's a culture in amongst Wall Street traders that might not fit with you. If you are, you know, your values involve humanitarian and altruistic values, right. So it might be time to rethink your path. So that's the first thing to think about culture, cultural mismatch. Second thing is, when you ask yourself, is there all this is, right? If you're constantly ask yourself day in and day out, is there all this is at your job, maybe that's a time to rethink. If you're on the right path, when what you're envisioning in the change you want to make is far more powerful, you get excited thinking about the change you want to make that's far more powerful than what you're experiencing at work, then it might be time to make that change, right? The drive for you to try something new is so much stronger than the negative feelings you have about your job. Again, it might be time to make that switch. So that's number two is when you ask yourself, is there all there is there all this is right? The third thing to ask is, is to note for red flag is when you stablish boundaries, and you communicate it, especially between your personal life and your work life. It gets violated over and over again. And it's clear that boundaries are just not respected. That could be in your particular organization, or could be in your industry. Right? You might, that's a red flag, that it might be time to make a change. Number four, when the path to promotions and salary increases, and advancements aren't clear or keeps shifting, right, there's no clear idea of what success looks like, at your job. And this is after you've communicated this and you're asking for more transparency, if that's still neglected and ignored, that's a red flag. Number five, when you tried would still have a hard time finding allies and mentors. And there's just a lot of unhealthy behaviors going on in the workplace micromanaging narcissistic behavior, other kinds of behaviors that affect your mental health, then also it's maybe it's time to go and you're not finding allies or mentors. That's a red flag, right. And you can also see in the high employee turnover, you can see in low morale at the workplace, lots of workplace drama, that could be a red flag, right? Number six, when your basic needs aren't being met, pay and benefits. That's important, right? There's simply no excuse for accepting pay. That's below what you need to support yourself and your family. There's no reason to accept those conditions. I know you might think well down the line, I've been promised this and that. Right? Make sure that that's legitimate look for people that have actually continued down the path and then have gotten the pay that was promised or the benefits that was promised, right? If you're finding that it's a dead end, it might be time to make Switch, but it's a red flag when you're being asked to accept pay for benefits, or working conditions that are below what you need.

Okay, and number seven, you're just not growing, expanding, being challenged and stimulated, and you feel stifled day in and day out, you are bored, you are bored, and it's time for something new. Right? So those are the seven signs to avoid. These are major red flags to indicate to you that it's time to make a job or career change. Now the major takeaways I want to go over again, is that learning to manage your mind through thought work, just being aware of your thoughts and feelings. It's going to serve you no matter where you go, whether you stay at your job, or you leave, or you start a new business, whatever it is, right, you're going to have the same human brain. And the primitive part of your brain is scared of change. So it's going to freak out no matter what you decide. The main thing to remember is that making a decision is better than sitting in limbo. So whatever you do, make that decision, leave or stay, and then commit to that decision, whatever that decision for a period of time, commit to it with your thoughts and emotions, and action, give it a fair shot, and recognize that no decision is permanent. And the more you make decisions, the better you get at it, the better you good at being comfortable with it. And in trusting yourself. Finally, there are red flags to know at the workplace, indicating when it might be time to make a change. But even then, you're going to want to learn you're going to want to practice processing the stress you carry around completing the stress cycle. No matter what you decide. You're gonna want to do that. And you're going to also want to clean up your thoughts, right as you embark on this major life change. Right, thank you so much for joining me today. Tomorrow I'm going to talk all about designing the life you want. And you know, shout out to me, DM me, you know, I'd love to hear from you. And I'd love to hear about your experiences as well at your work. All right, thank you