Marriages end. This isn’t breaking news; it’s just part of the world we live in. The last time I saw the number, it said 50 percent of marriages end in divorce.
Sometimes, it’s that the passion is just gone and one (or both) of the parties look elsewhere for that spark.
Sometimes, it’s that one party is taking advantage of the other and not giving enough to the relationship, maybe one party thinks the other isn’t holding to the vows they made.
Sometimes, it’s just not a good fit. No shame, no bad guy, just not a good fit.
In the same way, and for many of the same reasons, careers with a company can (and often do) come to an end.
Sometimes, the passion for the work leaves.
Many of us have felt burnt out at some point in our careers. You’ve worked too many hours, or had too many bad breaks that have soured things. Maybe you glorified the job too much before you got to it and didn’t anticipate the day to day drag that can occur.
This is fixable in some cases: a vacation, a new seminar, or a short time working on a special project can rekindle that passion.
Sometimes, it’s not: if the drive to do the work is gone, the best thing for both the company and the employee can be a parting of ways in some situations.
Sometimes, the employer or the candidate is taking advantage of the other, or one feels the other isn’t holding to the commitments they made at hire.
Maybe the employee isn’t meeting production expectations or has been taking too much time off. Maybe the company isn’t giving the employee the resources he or she was promised, or is not allowing him enough time to get home and see his or her family.
This is fixable in some cases: a frank conversation with an employer or an employee can go a long way sometimes, if handled in a polite and professional manner.
If the company isn’t giving the employee the resources he needs, sometimes there’s a legitimate reason and a work around. If the employee isn’t meeting expectations, sometimes there’s a legitimate reason that can be easily rectified with the proper support.
Sometimes, it’s not: sometimes the company just isn’t capable of fulfilling its obligations, or the employee’s reach has exceeded his or her grasp and he or she can’t meet the expectations agreed to.
Sometimes, it turns out to just not be a good fit.
Maybe the employee and employer rushed into things. It’s not that the employer is a jerk, it’s just that the employee’s management style and culture don’t mesh with the company culture and style.
This is probably not fixable. Ideally, this gets caught in the interview process and they don’t move forward, but it doesn’t always. And unfortunately, the reality is that if things aren’t a good fit, there isn’t always a lot that can be done: very simply, no matter how badly you want it to, that fish is never going to be able to climb that tree.
There are many legitimate reasons people consider ending marriages and jobs with a company, and a lot of the time, people find a reason to stay anyway.
Like marriage, the most common reasons people stay at a job, even when it’s not a good fit, are fear of change, not wanting to break a commitment, or not wanting to abandon the projects (children) that they’ve built up together.
Gee, that sure sounds like a great idea for another article in this series…