My work with executives often starts off by listening to their common complaints.

What do they complain about?:

  • Their bosses
  • Their colleagues
  • Their collaborators
  • Their job responsibilities… …

These situations can become intolerable for them. One day, they get fed up and decide the moment has come for a change. They start looking for a new job in the hopes of finding what they’re missing in their current role.

When I hear these types of grievances, I always ask the same question:

  • Have you ever faced a similar situation in the past?

The answer is nearly always in the affirmative.

The field of psychology has theories that highlight our inclination toward repetition. We tend to repeat ourselves!

As sessions progress, the complaint about “everything else but us” gradually becomes more inwardly focused: when dealing with bosses who don’t listen, rather than waiting for them to change, maybe there’s something you can do to improve your communication style.

If you decide to take ownership of your complaints, you are sure to find some that, to a greater or lesser degree, will depend on you. And in some cases, resolving the issue will rely solely on yourself!

If you also have a professional grievance, I urge you to reflect on this question:

  • How much of what’s happening to you is really about you?

Without a doubt, we should change what bothers us and stay away from situations that upset us. But doing so without learning something about ourselves will likely lead us to trip over the same complaint in the future.

If you decide to leave, leave on the best possible note. All the effort you put into resolving your role in professional grievances will allow you to enjoy what lies ahead.

It depends on you!