If we’ve ever sat down and discussed how I look at work, career, and professional development in general, you know I see every job as a partnership between two companies. The company you’ll be working for, and you. You are a company of one. That partnership has to benefit both companies. The company is getting the benefit of being able to use your current talents and abilities, in exchange for money and the chance to grow your skills and experience further.
Most of the time this partnership works well. Both companies prosper and grow stronger together than they would separately. The company you work for has a need, and you are the only one person company who can help them fill that need. You come in, you work fill that need, and you are paid well in return.
But sometimes that partnership doesn’t benefit one or both parties involved. Sometimes you don’t have all the skills they need you to have. Some times the company tries to fill several roles with one person, and has unrealistic expectations of what they want to accomplish. Sometimes there just isn’t a way to work together in a way that lets both companies prosper without putting too heavy a cost on the other.
When either partner in the relationship sees a problem building, it’s on them to bring it up to the other company. This doesn’t have to be an official meeting, it can be a simple chat. Discuss the problem as you see it. Don’t just come in with a laundry list of complaints, bring possible solutions with you. This is a partnership, you’re equals. It’s on both of you to work towards a solution.
But what if there are no solutions?
That’s when things get tough. That’s when you’re headed towards ending the partnership.
Again, communication is key here. Explain the problems. Make sure both sides understand where you both are, and where the expectation of where you are together. Once you both understand, you simply have to say, the partnership needs to come to an end.
There’s going to be a lot of stress surrounding this conversation. One or both of you may even feel betrayed at this point…But you really have to ask yourself this: is it better to continue the partnership when it’s not in your best interest to stay? Is it good to stay when the other company needs something different than you offer?
If the answer to either question is no… you have to end the partnership and go your separate ways. It’s tough, but something you have to learn to do.
It’s something even I have to struggle with.