Saturday, May 25, 2024

I was put on a PIP in my director-level job and fantasized about quitting. So I quiet quit for 3 months before actually walking out.

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“Michael Phelps is a really good swimmer, yet he’ll still drown if you chain him to the Titanic. That was the situation I was in — it felt like no matter how hard I swam, I was going to drown,” John Garvens said.

Courtesy of John Garvens

John Garvens started a new role at an agency in February 2022 that was immediately stressful.After being placed on a PIP, he ‘quiet quit’ for 3 months before leaving in January.He pushed back on unrealistic deliverables and put his wellbeing first, but no one noticed.

This is an as-told-to essay based on a conversation with John Garvens, a 38-year-old expert in Salesforce Revenue Cloud based in Freeport, Illinois. It has been edited for length and clarity.

Throughout my career, I’ve worked as an administrator, a consultant, and an implementation architect. In February 2022, I started a role as a director at an agency. I have specific product expertise in Salesforce Revenue Cloud, and I joined with the purpose of helping the team grow that practice.

My job was to provide the analysts, consultants, and architects guidance on how it works and best practices for how the business processes surrounding it work.

My first month, as usual at a new gig, was all rubbing elbows, kissing babies, and meeting and greeting everybody

At the end of the first month, I inherited a project from someone who was leaving the company.

The project was a giant dumpster fire. Within a couple of weeks I was assigned another project, which turned out to be the worst project I’ve ever worked on. It was like they were trying to mow a lawn with a chainsaw — yes, it’s possible, but it’s going to look like trash, and you might lose a foot in the process.

As I was juggling the two on-fire projects, I thought to myself: “That’s fine, I’m a resilient guy. I can handle it.” But things kept getting more and more stressful. Eventually I was pulled off the first project, and I focused on the second one.

I started warning leadership and my peers that it wasn’t going to get done

I told them we needed way more resources if we were going to do it right. Even though I was hired as a subject-matter expert, everyone disregarded my warnings — so the project went on.

Halfway through the year, we decided to not charge the client until things were back to a satisfactory level. That harmed me as a director — I essentially became a really expensive business analyst who wasn’t making any money for the firm.

It got really frustrating really fast. In the early fall I started to second-guess myself and think: “Am I even good at this? I’m so terrible at this.”

During that time I also started a jujitsu academy. I had paying customers within a month, which helped me realize that I can get things done, I’m effective, and I can manage a project.

Back at my 9-to-5, I developed a second metaphor for the project: Michael Phelps is a really good swimmer, yet he’ll still drown if you chain him to the Titanic. That was the situation I was in — it felt like no matter how hard I swam, I was going to drown.

In November I ended up on a performance-improvement plan

I found out later from a coworker that I should’ve been put on the PIP three months earlier, when my performance was the worst. Ironically, the first point of concern and feedback was my inability to prioritize, yet my PIP itself was not prioritized by the business.

After being placed on my PIP, I realized this wasn’t the job for me, but I needed to ride it out to make ends meet. I decided to quiet quit — I’d lost investment in and passion for my work, but I’d continue to work long hours and save as much money as possible with the intent to go on a sabbatical for a few months.

I started to fantasize about actually quitting. I imagined being in a meeting one day and just saying, “You know what? I’m done,” logging off my computer, and waiting for the box to show up to ship it back to the company.

Once I decided I wouldn’t stay at the company, I prioritized my well-being

I stopped starting early and ending late. I stopped working on internal initiatives. I didn’t open my computer on weekends. I more openly pushed back on unrealistic deliverables and timelines. I put myself first since no one else would.

No one seemed to notice.

I started openly discussing my stress levels with my leaders. I told my manager, my friend who recruited me, and even the CEO — who effectively shrugged it off — that I was burned out.

No one cared.

They were burned out, too, and had enough of their own drama to deal with. You could see it on all-hands calls — most people were burned out, but no one would admit it.

I finally decided to actually quit

I put in my two weeks at the end of December so I could start fresh in January. I was practically begged to stick around for two more weeks to handle two other projects that I’d been staffed on, and I agreed.

I thought it would be fine — one more paycheck for me, and it’d help out my friends so I don’t leave people high and dry. I officially left in January.

I’d planned to just focus on my book and jujitsu gym after that, but then I had a customer lead and ended up starting my own business two weeks after leaving the firm.

Now I have a collection of independent but mutually beneficial jobs. I’m still trying to find balance. Most people would rather make more money, but I value my freedom more. I traded freedom for money in my last role and found it wasn’t worth it.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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“Michael Phelps is a really good swimmer, yet he’ll still drown if you chain him to the Titanic. That was the situation I was in — it felt like no matter how hard I swam, I was going to drown,” John Garvens said.

Courtesy of John Garvens

John Garvens started a new role at an agency in February 2022 that was immediately stressful.After being placed on a PIP, he ‘quiet quit’ for 3 months before leaving in January.He pushed back on unrealistic deliverables and put his wellbeing first, but no one noticed.

This is an as-told-to essay based on a conversation with John Garvens, a 38-year-old expert in Salesforce Revenue Cloud based in Freeport, Illinois. It has been edited for length and clarity.

Throughout my career, I’ve worked as an administrator, a consultant, and an implementation architect. In February 2022, I started a role as a director at an agency. I have specific product expertise in Salesforce Revenue Cloud, and I joined with the purpose of helping the team grow that practice.

My job was to provide the analysts, consultants, and architects guidance on how it works and best practices for how the business processes surrounding it work.

My first month, as usual at a new gig, was all rubbing elbows, kissing babies, and meeting and greeting everybody

At the end of the first month, I inherited a project from someone who was leaving the company.

The project was a giant dumpster fire. Within a couple of weeks I was assigned another project, which turned out to be the worst project I’ve ever worked on. It was like they were trying to mow a lawn with a chainsaw — yes, it’s possible, but it’s going to look like trash, and you might lose a foot in the process.

As I was juggling the two on-fire projects, I thought to myself: “That’s fine, I’m a resilient guy. I can handle it.” But things kept getting more and more stressful. Eventually I was pulled off the first project, and I focused on the second one.

I started warning leadership and my peers that it wasn’t going to get done

I told them we needed way more resources if we were going to do it right. Even though I was hired as a subject-matter expert, everyone disregarded my warnings — so the project went on.

Halfway through the year, we decided to not charge the client until things were back to a satisfactory level. That harmed me as a director — I essentially became a really expensive business analyst who wasn’t making any money for the firm.

It got really frustrating really fast. In the early fall I started to second-guess myself and think: “Am I even good at this? I’m so terrible at this.”

During that time I also started a jujitsu academy. I had paying customers within a month, which helped me realize that I can get things done, I’m effective, and I can manage a project.

Back at my 9-to-5, I developed a second metaphor for the project: Michael Phelps is a really good swimmer, yet he’ll still drown if you chain him to the Titanic. That was the situation I was in — it felt like no matter how hard I swam, I was going to drown.

In November I ended up on a performance-improvement plan

I found out later from a coworker that I should’ve been put on the PIP three months earlier, when my performance was the worst. Ironically, the first point of concern and feedback was my inability to prioritize, yet my PIP itself was not prioritized by the business.

After being placed on my PIP, I realized this wasn’t the job for me, but I needed to ride it out to make ends meet. I decided to quiet quit — I’d lost investment in and passion for my work, but I’d continue to work long hours and save as much money as possible with the intent to go on a sabbatical for a few months.

I started to fantasize about actually quitting. I imagined being in a meeting one day and just saying, “You know what? I’m done,” logging off my computer, and waiting for the box to show up to ship it back to the company.

Once I decided I wouldn’t stay at the company, I prioritized my well-being

I stopped starting early and ending late. I stopped working on internal initiatives. I didn’t open my computer on weekends. I more openly pushed back on unrealistic deliverables and timelines. I put myself first since no one else would.

No one seemed to notice.

I started openly discussing my stress levels with my leaders. I told my manager, my friend who recruited me, and even the CEO — who effectively shrugged it off — that I was burned out.

No one cared.

They were burned out, too, and had enough of their own drama to deal with. You could see it on all-hands calls — most people were burned out, but no one would admit it.

I finally decided to actually quit

I put in my two weeks at the end of December so I could start fresh in January. I was practically begged to stick around for two more weeks to handle two other projects that I’d been staffed on, and I agreed.

I thought it would be fine — one more paycheck for me, and it’d help out my friends so I don’t leave people high and dry. I officially left in January.

I’d planned to just focus on my book and jujitsu gym after that, but then I had a customer lead and ended up starting my own business two weeks after leaving the firm.

Now I have a collection of independent but mutually beneficial jobs. I’m still trying to find balance. Most people would rather make more money, but I value my freedom more. I traded freedom for money in my last role and found it wasn’t worth it.

Read the original article on Business Insider
Avatar

Read more

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