In every situation I ask myself two questions:
- What do I want the outcome of this situation to be
- What do I secretly want the outcome of this situation to be
For example, at one of my previous jobs, my boss setup an emergency meeting in her office. The title of the calendar invite was “catch up”. It was one of those vague meeting titles that meant one of two things: 1) She wanted to catch up or 2) She was going to lay me off.
The meeting was sent at 2am and it was for 6 hours later at 8am. The moment I got the email, my mind started going wild. What in the world does she want to talk about? There was no description in the email, she surely is going to lay me off. She never sends email this late at night. The company isn’t doing that well, this has to be it. I’m toast.
I asked myself the two questions:
- What do I want the outcome of this situation to be: I really hope she just wants to catch up on my to do list. I have a family to feed and nothing really lined up job wise. I can’t afford to be laid off right now. It’s christmas time, nobody is hiring. Please just let this be a follow up meeting to discuss future goals.
- What do I secretly want the outcome of this situation to be: Fire me. I beg you. End my misery right now. This isn’t the right job for me. I don’t want to be doing this right now. This is not what I signed up for. Every day I come to this job I lose a part of my soul. I have been coming to work late for the past 2 months now. Can’t you see that I just don’t care anymore. Can’t you see that? I’m not meant for the corporate life anymore. I want to create something meaningful. I want to create something that others are going to use. I want to do the things that I’m good at. For the love of everything almighty. Fire me. Please.
The outcome: She just wanted to catch up. It was a bittersweet feeling, but in the end I realized what I should do is what I secretly want to do. I secretly wanted to do something else.
One month later I quit. If she wasn’t going to end my secret misery, then I was.