Furthest Right

When You Should Leave a Job

You will hit a point where you should unload almost any investment you have entered into. It could be land, it could be securities, or it could be a job. That point is when the people who know what they are doing stop willingly piling into that investment.

The average Amerikan (such as humble, little moi) gets brainwashed into believing that jobs are careers and that careers are a life mission. In Amerika you are taught the contrapositive of “To do is to be.” You are taught the evil, inverted principal that what you do is what you are. This calculated brainwashing is done to prevent you from being a real American like Johnny Paycheck.

Not everyone, working any job, should go Johnny Paycheck. It should be a calculated call. Dare I say it… this should be a business decision. In Clown World Amerika, they want you to “take one for the team” instead. Drones chained to the desk produce the requisite Keynesian Aggregate Demand. Yet there comes a time when you should realize that you are being used as a sucker. You are going to take one for the team, two for the team, three for the team, ad aeternam.

Charles Hugh Smith suggests an excellent standard you can follow.

As the competent leadership leaves, the incompetent takes the reins, blind to their own incompetence. It all looked so easy when the competent were at the helm, but reality is a cruel taskmaster, and all the excuses that worked as an underling wear thin once the incompetent are in leadership roles.

By this terminal stage, the competent have been driven out, quit or burned out. There’s only slack-masters and incompetent left, and the toxic work environment has been institutionalized, so no competent individual will even bother applying, much less take a job doomed to burnout and failure.

If the smart guys around you start leaving a job, then maybe you should sharpen up the resume and reach out to your contacts and family as well. When people who know what they are doing stop doing something, a high probability exists that they are not stopping in error.

This gives us a good immediate action drill. If the smart and the talented people all quit around you, then something that made that job desirable or beneficial has gone rancid. The really smart person sitting next door can serve as a canary in the coal mine. This can work pretty well, unless you are in the rare situation that you are the smart guy next door that everyone else sort of watches and takes after at work. Then the Charles Hugh Smith Standard no longer works as a warning.

Then it helps to know why the smart people decided that it was time to stop working for Good Old ACME Inc. One way to do this is to stop thinking of a job or career path as a calling. Think of it instead as something that you need somewhat, but are not morally attached to. As Amerikan employers invest less in their people, Americans should not invest excess normative capital in the wellbeing of these increasingly soulless corporate or civil mega-employers.

The job, then becomes similar to the car that has been on the road for a few years. After the owner puts north of 100K miles on this vehicle, even a reasonable owner that takes some care of the vehicle starts noticing some problems. The car doesn’t kick as much butt when you hit the gas. It may not go quite as far between oil changes or tire rotations. Someone who isn’t blue-collar handy enough to fix these typical niggles will find themselves paying a bit more year-over-year to keep the vehicle in a safe and reliable state of function.

Once these maintenance costs become both noticeable and frustrating, the car owner now faces a situation that engineers who manage capital assets for a living typically deal with. This is a repair-replace decision.

When a machine breaks down, the need it was fulfilling persists—this is the driving force behind every repair. Therefore, every troubleshooting project has the following 3 elements: a need, a broken system, and a finite supply of repair resources. That basic setup leads to the following options: Repair the system, Replace the system, or Upgrade or downgrade the system.

Rather than treating a piece of feces job as if you are married to it, treat it like a car or a mutual fund in which you have parked some extra cash. You will face an upfront cost in training, education and money for at least one decent interview suit to get hired. The job gives you some prestige, status, and swag. You give up time and a measure of your stress threshold in return for these rewards. As long as this situation is tenable, and preferably somewhat happy and ennobling, don’t think about the job, just do it.

Should the terms of work change, or should your needs from the job change, then the job becomes a bit like that old car that now becomes more noticeable and somewhat of a burden. When work makes someone feel like a rat, they are then stuck in a rat trap. Then a worker can repair the job, replace the job or upgrade/downgrade the job.

Repairing the job can consist of getting a raise, working from home, changing the work hours to match up better with outside responsibilities or any other change that makes the work situation less defective. This will probably prove the easiest and safest course of action if the employer isn’t a tool. Do good to those that treat you with professional empathy.

Replacing the job involves a higher level of risk. People should do this if their current job has devolved to the point of just extracting from their lives while offering no value in return. Hating work is not always immature, irresponsible or irrational. If work accomplishes nothing for you, don’t feel guilt over whether it accomplishes anything for your employer. Leave on discrete, honorable, and reasonably safe terms. When it is time to change your professional life, do not be a coward. Screw the people that treat you badly.

Upgrading and downgrading the job can involve a variety of different things. It should land somewhere between fixing the job and remaining in place, or junking the old job and starting off on a whole new life. For good or for ill, this is the Ron DeSantis Option – too milquetoast for some, too radical for the easily frightened.

For the truly fortunate and the genuinely competent, there exists a fourth option: The Johnny Paycheck Option. The empowered and successful worker can tell the employer to shove it. The now humbled employer has to offer something up to prevent the shoving sensation. By any reasonable measure, being able to make the typical Amerikan employer have to do that constitutes a damn fine day at work.

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