Updated: Sep 20, 2019
I’m done, I’m out. Its over! I can’t take this anymore. How do you end a draining alliance? How do you leave a group, a person, a company or friendship, especially when you are leaving on a bad note? My answer to that is this…’You Don’t!
Oh oh! Wait, I know what you are thinking. Let’s discuss it after this story.
Jacob walked into his office that morning feeling a bit down cast. He thought his fact finding mission to the Farmers association of Nigeria would yield the information his boss required. He tried to explain to Mr. Olaniyan the reason why he could not prepare his report for their fertilizer sales strategy on time. Mr. Olaniyan was taken aback! Why on earth did you have to go there in the first place? Do you know that one major consideration in giving you this job is the fact that you said your father had been a farmer all his life and is a strong member of the Farmers association of Osun State?”
Jacob froze! Ouch! Mr. Olaniyan was right, Jacob could get the information he needed with just one phone call from his dad to the president of the association but that was not even an option. The reason is that Jacob left Osun state abruptly after a very bitter disagreement with his dad over his choice of whom to marry. They had an argument so fierce that even with his mother's cries for him to come back, Jacob packed up his bags and stormed out of the house with a promise never to come back. It had been 6-months and he and his dad were nowhere close to speaking yet.
Jacob got a job because of his background but he was about to lose out because he had treated his background like his past and put it behind him.
People leave their jobs for many reasons, they move on from one thing to the other for good or bad reasons. Though this is perfectly fine and expected in life, some people make a big mistake in how they leave.
You see, everything you have ever done and anywhere you have ever been should form part of a rich background of networks and experience that you can ride on and build on.
I would never advice anyone to leave an environment on a bad note. Go with your integrity, your reputation and most importantly your network and relationship intact. Leave still showing a sense of responsibility.
By saying ‘Step Up’ I am not referring to waiting until you have something better, even though that it also a good idea. I am more concerned that you do not lose the value of what you have added, built and developed by leaving on a wrong note.
Even when you make a decision to leave, it is better to wait out any conflict, mend broken relationships and leave on a positive note.
For example, if John had known the principle of Stepping Up, then after his heated argument with his dad, he would have taken his time to mend fences before leaving home. We tend to disrespect our background when we feel we have gotten something better, but one thing is for sure. If you step out instead of stepping up, you would have lost something important which you should be leveraging for future success.
Throw away your NYSC pictures because you don’t like how you look – It’s your history.
Abscond from the school where you worked as a Corp Member half way through service year, just because you know you are not interested in working there…You are sowing seeds.
Walk out of an office without doing a proper handover because you were not paid your last salary…You have lost the money already but you will lose the leverage too for leaving wrongly.
Quit without giving notice because you are an intern.
Insult your boss because you are going to start up your business.
Burn your Nigerian passport and insult your family because you have gotten a Blue Passport… A multinational company can offer you millions of dollars to come back to Nigeria as Country Manager.
Your current employer, group, volunteer job, internship, landlord, family ties e.t.c are the stepping stone on which your future opportunities will be built. When you leave on a bad note, you take away one of your stepping stones making it more difficult to reach the top.
Here are my two words of advice:
Put your past behind you but never your background…Keep It
Ignore your failure but never the lessons you learnt from it…Save It
Step out of negative environments, not the relationships you built…Keep Them
When fences are broken…Mend Them
When conflict is brewing…Hold On
Don’t run away in the middle of a storm…Stand Strong
Most importantly, if you are in a place and you have any type of positive impact, then you should wait out any problems, solve them and then leave on a good note. As I said earlier, don’t leave any place on a bad note and if you have already, begin to mend the relationships that have been severed before you need them. I know it can be hard but try your best to remember this advice please: Don’t Step Out When You Are Angry…