If your boss can fire you, then shouldn’t you be able to fire them? Just go on into your boss’s office today and fire him or her.  Maybe it’s not that easy and I understand, leaving a job is no small task. However, when thoroughly considered, it should be a little easier to fire your boss than you might think.

A big reason for the difficulty associated with leaving a job is fear, which is what I’d like to explore in this article. There are two specific types of fear that tend to arise when considering leaving a current job, fear of loss and fear of the unknown. In order to explore and overcome these fears, let’s delve into them in more detail.


Fear of Loss

There is an immense feeling of safety that comes with a job that is comfortable, even when that job is not enjoyable. When I speak with candidates, many of them express the sentiment that they are comfortable in their job making $100,000 per year, and they don’t want risk losing something that feels comfortable and predictable. This feeling is common, even among individuals that hate their job. However, I try to remind these folks that it is entirely possible to find a job that they love and make $150,000.

I’ve been guilty of this mentality but over the years, have changed my way of thinking.  Looking back, it’s amazing how fearful I was of losing a job where I was mistreated and wasn’t paying me that well.  I wish I could take a time machine and ask myself, “Why are you so worried about losing a job that you hate going into every day?”

The biggest obstacle for obtaining this new growth is usually fear of loss, but there are some ways to overcome this fear and move forward. The first step is to ask yourself what you’re so scared of losing and second, thinking about what you have to gain by finding another opportunity.  Once these answers are more clear, you can begin viewing the whole picture and really determining what is at the root of your motivations and intentions.

Understanding the root of these motivations can inspire people to take chances where they wouldn’t previously, which will in turn change how a person views the inevitability of loss.


Fear of the Unknown

Most people are more concerned with what they’re giving up, and less concerned with what they could potentially gain. This is concern strikes at the very center of fearing the unknown. In order to receive the gains that come with any particular loss, you must be willing to look at the unknown and accept it despite its layered mystery.

When I was thinking about recruiting, almost everybody told me that it was a bad career move. These people argued that this transition was just too risky considering I was already making “good money.” The problem was that these same people never asked if I liked my job at the time, or why I was so passionate about recruiting. Luckily, I didn’t listen to most of these individuals, who happened to be preoccupied with a fear of the unknown.

I believe that a significant number of people would rather work a job that they hate (so long as it’s predictable), than look for a new job. These individuals know that their current boss is a jerk and they know what they are making financially. Alternatively, they don’t know if their new boss will be worse, and they don’t know exactly how much money they will make. These unknowns can weigh heavily on a person when making career choices. The bottom line is that you’ll never know what can be gained from a new job or career until you decide to give up the job you currently have.

Some decisions in life seem a lot more obvious than others, especially when fear is involved. What would you do if you were in a relationship that you weren’t happy with, or was abusive? For many people the answer to this question is “Break up with them”, without much hesitation at all. With this in mind, why would you stay in a bad work relationship that leads to unhappiness? Fear is usually the answer to this question, and the thing standing in your way. Explore this fear, and you might feel more comfortable firing your boss.

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