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Is It Time to Leave Your Job?

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Is It Time to Leave Your Job?

My 90-year-old father recently retired. Yes, you read that correctly. It was, unfortunately, time for him to both physically and mentally walk away from an accounting career that had started more than 72 years before. He did not really want to do so, but his eyesight was failing him, and he knew he had to finally retire. I spoke with him the next day mid-afternoon, and he said he was bored. That’s my father. Hard-working, driven and motivated to do his best. Leaving his job and career wasn’t easy for him, but sometimes it is the best thing to do.

The decision to leave a job or franchise shouldn’t be taken lightly, but it usually boils down to one thing: are you still motivated to excel? If you have lost your desire and motivation to continue to improve, your work and business will start to deteriorate, and it’s time to move on.

If you can’t tell if you’re still motivated, then you probably aren’t. Look at your feelings each day. Have you stopped enjoying going to work and facing today’s complex business challenges?  Do you no longer feel passionate about your product? Have you lost faith in management? Do you view your team negatively? Simply put, do you not love what you’re doing anymore? If you answer yes to one or more of those questions, it’s time to think about finding the next phase of your professional life.    

Before you take a job or buy a franchise, you’ve likely performed your due diligence on the business and management team. You are probably excited and both like and respect corporate management. Once that enthusiasm fades, if you lose your motivation, your business will suffer. Look at how you interact with area representatives as an example. They are there to help you succeed, and you should view them as a consultant. If you see them as a cop and fight their criticisms instead of trying to improve, your business will stagnate.

Similarly, if you are no longer a zealot for your brand, it may be time to leave. Negativity can breed more negativity, and you must be able to share your passion for your brand with your customers.

Your competition is improving every day, so you must be working hard enough and efficiently enough to outshine them. If you aren’t constantly improving and trying to be better than your competition, you run the risk of failure. If you’ve lost the desire to improve, you begin taking shortcuts and your business could quickly lose value.

So, how do you motivate yourself on a daily basis? An established routine is a great place to start. Exercise. Read about your industry consistently. Spend less time looking at reports and more time with your employees and customers. Numbers are the scoreboard, but you will learn more about your business by standing next to an employee on the line and talking to them about their goals than looking at a spreadsheet in the comforts of your cushy office.

As the leader, you have a responsibility to your company and everyone who works for you. This means if you have upper-level managers who have clearly lost their motivation and you aren’t able to motivate the team to excel, you have to let them go. If your managers aren’t motivating your employees to excel the same way you are motivating them, you are doing yourself, your company and all other team members a disservice by tolerating mediocrity. Be candid and honest to help your organization achieve its overall goals.

Both sides—employee and manager or franchisee and franchisor—need to have a strong desire to excel. If either side doesn’t, it is bad for the brand. Rather than limp along, talk to your franchisor or manager and find an exit strategy. You should be passionate about what you do, and especially as a franchisee, you must have a strong desire to succeed.

Craig Dunaway has been president of Penn Station since 1999. Before joining Penn Station Inc., Dunaway was a partner at the regional accounting firm of McCauley, Nicolas & Company, LLC in Jeffersonville, Indiana, where he had worked since 1982 in various staff and managerial positions. Dunaway has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Indiana University and is still a licensed CPA. Dunaway formerly had ownership interests in a Papa John’s® franchisee that owned 11 stores, and he served as the secretary/treasurer for that Papa John’s® franchisee. In addition, he had ownership interests in Coastal Cheesesteaks, LLC (headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina) until June 2011 and in Louisville Cheesesteaks, LLC (headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky) until January 2014, both of which are Penn Station franchisees. While a shareholder in those Penn Station franchisees, Dunaway served as secretary/treasurer. Penn Station was named one of the Best Franchises to Buy by Forbes in 2016 and 2018 and one of the Best Franchise Deals by QSR Magazine in 2016 and 2017.

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