Aurora Donnelly is a solo practitioner always looking forward to the next exciting transition.
[When considering accepting a job in a workplace that doesn’t seem to suit us or with people we don’t like, we sometimes rationalize that we always have the option of quitting.]
We think, well, if worse comes to worst, I can leave. But the road to that departure can be very painful and can cause more problems than if we had not taken the job. You can imagine … now there’s a painful departure (because, believe me, there is no simple, “OK, if it doesn’t work out, I’ll leave,” there is always some or a lot of pain associated with quitting or being fired) in our immediate past, we have to look for a job again, might have to explain what happened to a future potential employer, and the worst thing is…we have taken a major ding to our confidence. Those dings can add up, and not in a good way!
When I was preparing to attend law school I took a job at a very successful firm, but working with people I did not respect and doing work that was well below my level of expertise and professional capability. I took the job because it was two blocks from where I was going to attend law school, the salary was enough that I could pay for law school out of my earnings and it had a good title. I then tried to conform to a very dysfunctional environment and to submerge my true abilities in order not to “make waves,” to fly under the radar and attain my true goal, which was getting through law school in the manner least disruptive to my life.
Needless to say, what seemed a strategic plan at the time turned out disastrously and became one of those career experiences that resonate negatively for a very long time. So, if you go to an interview and afterwards think, “Oh, I don’t know about that interviewer/firm, seemed a little (fill in the blank),” but when you get the offer you find it too hard to turn down, stop, sleep on the decision and let the urge to accept the job pass. It’s not worth it.