Submitted by Kathy Haselmaier
Recently I was talking with a young working parent who was at her wits' end. She has two young children and a high pressure career. Her employer would be happy if she worked 24 hours/day. She's thinking about resigning because she just doesn't feel like she can keep up with all of the demands. Oh, and did I mention that her work environment is crazy too? The people, the assignments, and the organization structure aren't making things any easier.
I told her that I had been in similar situations in the past and asked myself this question: would I rather quit in defeat or get fired after trying my hardest? For me, it was the latter. I'd rather have been fired knowing I'd tried my best than to have quit and always wondered if I'd given up too soon.
That said, I still needed to find ways to maintain my sanity, so I often defined boundaries for myself at work. For example, I'd tell myself that I would leave the office by a certain time each day, be sure to participate in certain personal activities each day, or limit my hours worked each week. Then I reminded myself that if adhering to any of these boundaries caused me to get fired, I wouldn't beat myself up for it. If I was going to be out of work, it wouldn't be for a lack of trying.
Guess what? I never got fired. In fact, I never (and I mean never) had a manager that even seemed to notice a change in my performance. Sometimes I actually did a better job because I was forcing myself to focus on the most important work and work more efficiently.
If you're at the point where you're not sure you can take it anymore, it might be time to look for a new job. Or you may be able to modify your existing job, on your own terms and without involving your manager, in a way that makes it feel new and more manageable.
Why fire yourself?
Originally Published: Oct 19, 2017 | Last Updated: May 23, 2018