October 7

If you’re doing work that matters to you, conflict is inevitable. It may even become a part of your everyday work experience. The natural response when conflict becomes the norm is to entertain the thought of moving on. Before entertaining leaving your job, here’s something you can do to clarify what’s really at the heart of your frustration: write a letter of resignation, but don’t deliver it.

Convey all of the reasons you need to move on, all of the frustrations you experience daily, and all of the ways in which you feel underutilized. Talk about how disappointed you are with how things are going, and how you would change things if you could. Get it off your chest. Be as personal as you’d like, since no one will ever read it.

Once you’ve written your letter, ask yourself a few questions:

1. How much of what’s in this letter could I change if I really wanted to? 

2. Am I looking to my job to provide something a job cannot ultimately give me? (Identity, self-worth, etc.)

3. How much of what’s in this letter is recent frustration, versus old wounds that haven’t healed?

4. How much of what’s in this letter have I experienced in other workplaces as well?

5. Are there any unexpected patterns I see within this letter?

It’s possible that you will discover that there are ways to deepen your engagement in your current role instead of leaving it behind.

Before considering leaving your job, first write a resignation letter but don’t send it. You might discover ways in which you are contributing to your own frustration.   

Question:  Do you need to write a letter to express your frustration?

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