“There’s a point at which”

I had conversations with more than one person this week where he or she told me something along the lines of “there’s a point at which I need to just switch roles”, “there’s a point at which I just need to give my manager XYZ feedback even though he / she won’t want to hear it” or even “there’s a point at which I need to leave this company because I can’t take the work life balance”.

When I am asked to get coffee or chat with someone not happy in their current situation, I almost always hear “there’s a point at which”. One piece of advice I try to give people is to actually communicate (delicately) what’s in his or her “there’s a point at which” statement sooner rather than later. No one can help you address something they don’t know.

For example, if a manager does something you don’t like consistently, I actually think you owe it to your manager to communicate what’s bothering you. Otherwise, people get so upset, yet don’t ask for a way to fix the problem, that they just end up leaving. They leave before actually trying to fix the situation. They often don’t even get to “the point at which”.

So, when you find yourself saying “I can’t take how my manager talks to me”, “I can’t take these hours” or anything like that, try communicating the issue earlier than you think you should or want to.

What’s the risk here? People worry that in communicating frustration they may make the situation worse. And, that’s not impossible. However, without communication it is very unlikely to get better. So, you need to force yourself to constantly reassess the risk versus the potential reward. Don’t wait to address it at the point you already have another job lined up. That’s when you’re past “the point at which”.

“There’s a point at which”

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