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  • Writer's pictureRoger Grant

One Thing You Must Do before Leaving Your Job

Updated: Oct 15, 2020

Have you sometimes wondered if there is something better out there you should be doing?

You've worked hard to get to where you are today. You are competent at your job, and you are paid well. You have a supportive boss and a great team. You are grateful. Yet there is a niggling feeling that something is missing. The work is not engaging – there is something else you're meant to do.

Most people respond by going through job postings on LinkedIn and sending out 20 applications to see what bites.

Before you do that, pause. Do you know what you want?


During our recruitment days, we interviewed people every day. We always asked: “So, what do you want to do?” Most people struggled to answer the question. And these were not junior people. Many were Director level and above. When stretched, they might say:

"I can do anything."

I didn't ask what you can do, I asked what you want to do.

"Anything but what I'm doing now."

I didn't ask what you don't want, I asked what you want.

A more polished version of "I want to do the same thing, but for more money."

So you're trying to find someone to pay you more for doing the same work.

"What's available in the market?"

A job search is not quite the same as shopping at the pasar (Malay word for market).

If you don't know where you are going you might not get there. - Yogi Berra

What is your imperative? 

According to research by Amy Wrzesniewski from the University of Michigan, there are three approaches to work – job, career and calling. A job is where it is purely to support our financial commitments. It pays the bills. A career is where the focus is to move higher on the corporate ladder. Promotions are the highlight of the work. A calling is where the work is an important part of you, something you take great pride and share fondly with friends and family.

For most of us, we pursue a job and career, without thinking about our calling until we have paid off the mortgage, packed the kids off to college and saved enough for retirement.

There comes a time when you ought to start doing what you want. Take a job that you love. You will jump out of bed in the morning. I think you are out of your mind if you keep taking jobs that you don't like because you think it will look good on your resume. Isn't that a little like saving up sex for your old age? – Warren Buffett

At PERSONNA, we believe that everyone is an extraordinary force for positive change. We don't reach our highest level of performance by saving up our potential. Neither do we reach it by trying to be good at everything. True productivity does not come from struggle and strife. Rather, it comes from a clear and focused mind that is unchallenged by indecisiveness. We become leaders of our field by being clear about what we desire and focus upon it with unwavering faith, saying no to everything else. Saying no is very difficult, especially when things are good. Saying no is also difficult because it means removing all other options, excuses and distractions. And we really don't like doing that...

Be very honest with yourself about your dreams and desires. What do you want? What do you wish to change? What are you waiting for? Have the courage to admit your dreams. Once you make up your mind, the rest follows quite naturally.

So, do you know what work you want to do?

Take time to slow down. Explore your thoughts. The answers are within.

When you have clarity on what you want, you may discover your dream job is right under your nose. It may not look like your dream job initially, but the potential is there and it requires your commitment and creativity to tailor it to fit your needs. Initiate that conversation with your boss. Don’t assume your boss knows what you want.

It's important to remember that it's okay not to have 100% clarity on your dreams. It's also okay if you change your mind. This clarity doesn't happen overnight. It takes time and some effort on your part. Gaining clarity is an iterative process. Like a good bowl of Cantonese soup, it's all about boiling it down to its essence. Every step is a discovery. Even if you make a wrong turn, it's not a mistake - you learnt what to avoid. Here are some things you can do to gain more clarity:

  • Work with a coach

  • Learn a new skill

  • Moonlighting

  • Connect with an industry insider

The answer is within. Take charge of your career today.

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PERSONNA is a leadership development company focused on the people side of transformation. We hold a simple belief that everyone is an extraordinary force for positive change. When you make work personal, naturally you become a better leader.

We’re here to help people become better leaders, build highly-effective teams, and create a culture of trust & collaboration in their organisations. We provide leadership branding, leadership coaching and group experiences. If you are curious to learn more drop us an email to

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