How to Know When You are Done

indexDone. Dunzo. Finis.

Everything comes to an end. Sometimes that end is desirable and sometimes it is not.

My exit from my law firm was generally a good experience; I was ready and I departed on good terms. It was harder for me to leave my local church. I love my local church, and loved it then too. I had a great 3+ years where I learned new skills, studied new areas, and led teams in a way I hadn’t done before. But I came to the conclusion that I wasn’t the right person for the job.

To be clear, I didn’t come to the conclusion that I didn’t want to be there, but rather that I shouldn’t be there. I did my job, I worked hard, and I wasn’t a problem employee. But sometimes you just know that you aren’t the right fit.

It is very, very hard (I can’t convey with words, fonts or colors how hard) to admit you aren’t the right person for the job. First, you try to make yourself the right person–your typical square peg in round hole efforts. That works, or seems to work, for a while. Then you might try to change the job to make you the right fit for a new position. That might work, but probably only for a time. In the end, when you are not the right person for the job, and probably more accurately, for the organization, you just know that something has to change.

As I moved on into a year of consulting, I took time to look at my gifts (leadership, building smart teams, executing vision, communication, advocacy) and my, well, non-gifts (detailed practice, fiscal management, developing and casting vision). From that discernment, I went on to find the right fit for me. I had two great offers, but one wasn’t going to use my gifts as much as the other. Naturally, the poorer fit paid a lot more. In the end, though, I’ve been around enough to know that fit is more important than a fat paycheck.

I heard a podcast recently that talked about “taking another seat on the bus.” In other words, you might have been a steward for a season, but if that season is over, you need to hand over the baton and perhaps find another way to stay connected to this organization. You have to ask, “Do I have what is needed in this organization, at this time in history, to take things to the next level?” If not, then it’s time to execute that succession plan, if you have one, or start putting together a succession plan with the right people advising you.

This isn’t easy. It is so hard to admit that you should be done, or rather, that the organization should be done with you. It is prudent to discern this before the organization does, obviously. If you love the organization (some people actually do love where they work), it is all the more imperative that you step aside first.

It’s hard on your ego, but so helpful to your personal growth.

Should your organization be done with you?

Are you dunzo?

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