Why did you leave your last job? What brought you to the chair you are sitting in today? It’s January – and like every other month of the year, millions of people are considering leaving their job right now.
The motivations to leave one place and join another are both many and strikingly specific to the individual. What I want to focus on today is the language we choose to describe this change. I’m tired of old school talk that disempowers people – especially women who leave the traditional work environment to be more present at home to raise up children.
Having been in recruiting work for over 20 years, I have walked alongside an incredibly diverse group of folks at pivotal moments of job change and career growth. Making a decision to leave one company to join another, or to leave the traditional workforce altogether, ranks solidly in the top 5 of most stress-inducing times in life.
Maybe you are one of the millions currently considering leaving your job – or the world of traditional work altogether, to dedicate more time to raising up a child(ren), to go back to school full-time, to take a break, to better focus on a promising side-hustle. Today, I’d like to encourage you to envision something different – something more positive, healthy, meaningful and more rooted in connection. Forget leaving. Focus on weaving. This is what you are doing. You are weaving a new design in your career lattice.
We covered the lattice a bit earlier, and how this is a much more realistic and healthy design to describe your career and professional journey. We are all moving around – up, down and all around. It’s in these moves that we weave our unique work design. These words: lattice, weaving, connections, journey are important distinctions from ladder, leaving, promotions and career.
You will get the inevitable question – and likely from someone like me: “What made you decide to leave that job?” This is your opportunity to try on this new language. “For me, it was much less about leaving and much more about intentionally weaving together my growing skills with an organization (or in a role) that could offer more opportunities for me to continue to develop and be challenged.” And hey – all y’all Stay at Home Parents – how about using an answer like this the next time someone asks you the same question!
Words have power, and we should pick our words more wisely when it comes to describing our professional journey and our multitude of choices along the way. Weave don’t leave.