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Do You Want To Become Your Boss?

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considering a choice

So many people question whether or not they want to quit their jobs.

I’ve quit a couple jobs in my short career (hopefully I’ll never have to have another “job” to quit again), and I can tell you that if you’re thinking about quitting your job, there’s one question you need to ask yourself:

Do you want to become your boss?

The way most organizations work is that you’re promoted over and over again. If you do it right, eventually you’ll end up “becoming” your boss. So you might as well take a look at your boss and ask yourself, “Do I like what I see?”

What’s your boss like?

In my own work history, Boss #1 was definitely someone I looked up to and wanted to emulate. I didn’t always agree with his vision or see eye-to-eye with him on every single topic, but he was someone who helped me grow as much as I could where I was.

Boss #2 was a different story. He was like a lost little puppy with very little direction and no actionable guidance. It wasn’t just him, either. As I looked around, I saw more people interested in maintaining their current status than pushing the envelope and seeing what they and the company could become.

I found myself asking myself over and over and over again: Do I want to become him?

I started thinking about what he had coming down the line. Sure, he probably could count on a nice promotion, pay raise and job security for a good long while. But he also got to look forward the same job and same schedule for the next 40 years and a relatively lengthy bureaucratic process to get anything done. Maybe that’s what he wanted.

All I know is that I did not want that. Period.

So I left.

It made the decision so much more clear-cut than I ever thought possible.

A question to ask yourself

Do you want to become your boss?

This question is a little hack that lets you see two, four or even 10 years down the road and get a glimpse of what your life might be like if you stay on the same track. It wakes you up to seeing the reality of your future rather than accepting that “someday” you’ll make a change.

So, if you’re wavering over whether you should stay or you should go, ask yourself: Do you want to become your boss? Because if you stay on the path you’re on, you’re likely to do just that.

And, if you don’t want to become your boss, what are you doing to make sure that doesn’t happen?

Joel Runyon is the author of Impossible HQ, where he started to change his life with an impossible list and a blog about challenging himself. Start your own and check out his step-by-step guide to starting a blog.

Brazen powers real-time, online events for leading organizations around the world. Our lifestyle and career blog, Brazen Life, offers fun and edgy ideas for ambitious professionals navigating the changing world of work.

  • Minecraft

    Hum. A very good question and I think a lot of people will want to do what you share.

  • Pingback: Boss Mentality: Prep Now to Take Your Manager's Place()

  • Barbara Mckinney

    Great article! “Do you want to become your boss?” is a great question to ask yourself when considering leaving Corp. This is a great measure to see if it’s time to hit the road. I would add that another option, instead of quitting is to stay and make a bigger impact in the Corporate game you are playing. After all, someone has to stay and make a difference.