I was talking to a friend who is on the brink of going into a new job, and was going through the story she needs to tell people who asks why she is leaving.
We tried a few versions – want more money, better prospects. Handsome new boss could have been a good one, but we’ve to be honest…
Anything but “current boss is bad”. Well, of course it’s NEVER the boss, right? … Though we all know it is bad grapevine material if it’s not some dirty inside story that has something to do with THE boss, and everyone’s going to badger for a “boss-story”.
But right, it’s not always the boss, OK…
Honestly, after you’ve worked for a long enough period of your life, and by long enough I really mean like at least a decade (or two…), you’ll know that bad bosses are just facts of life. Sorry to all bosses out there, but myself included, noone is a perfect boss, much like noone is a perfect human being.
We can have bosses that we can work with better than others, some we admire and respect more than others, but career choices aren’t usually made just because of the boss. I’d like to believe life is much bigger than just bosses.
Maybe it’s a need to experience new things, a fatigue of current organization and its problems, misalignment of hopes and perhaps values, wanting something more from life …
For myself, when I sought a new job, there were two things, intrigued by the boss who sat at the interview and asked me deep thinking questions, and a desire to be part of a change movement. It’s not quite working out, but that’s a story for another day.
For my friend, it is perhaps this need to embrace new experiences, things she never tried before, before “the runway runs out”. We all have some sort of shelf-life before life runs out of opportunities for us to make that flight. And in throwing herself into this big wide unknown, it must have taken loads of courage and a huge sense of adventure.
The boss, or the organization and its failings aside, no place is a perfect workplace. So while yes, good managers do help you keep talents, freshness matters too.
It’s like poking into an apple pie until the insides are no longer warm and fresh, and the outsides no longer crisp and crunchy. Once a while, we need fresh apple pies.
So while she embarks on this new journey why not just congratulate her for the guts and wish her all the strength she’ll need in facing the winds and shocks of this new flight. Buy her a nice sweet piping hot apple pie, and dig in. Forget about the boss.