Dear Liz,

I’m in a quandary. There are so many aspects of my job I don’t like, it’s hard to get out of bed in the morning. At this point I keep doing my job just to have a salary. I don’t get paid enough, and the working conditions are beyond stressful. There aren’t enough of us on the team and our deadlines are ridiculous.

I’m not the only one who feels that way. All of my co-workers are disgusted the same way I am. Our manager is a nice person but she’s too mousy for her own good. When the higher-up managers say, “This is what we have to do,” she says, “Great!”

I know my boss values me and doesn’t want to lose me, because she tells me that at every performance review and every time I save her rear end which is about once a month. I’m not sure whether to talk to her about my discouragement, or just to get another job. I know my boss “Nancy” will be upset if I quit but if that happens, she will have brought it on herself.

If I talk to Nancy about how I’m feeling, she will probably go to bat for me. She might be able to get me a raise and some help. She’ll be angry with me if I don’t give her that chance, but I also don’t want to tell Nancy about my unhappiness and maybe get the executive team thinking I’m a disgruntled employee.

Do you think I should talk to Nancy about my concerns, a conversation that might lead to a general discussion with my team about the way this company used to be versus the way it is now? Or should I just start a quiet job search, get a new job and leave?

Thanks Liz!


Dear Abigail,

We humans are creatures of habit. Once we find a cozy burrow, we want to stay there and hibernate. Your burrow was cozy and then everything changed. Now it’s not comfortable anymore.

Our first instinct is to say, “Let’s get things back to the way they were!”

Nancy has allowed you to become an underpaid, overworked member of her team. Do you really want to pin your hopes on her to make things better?

You feel that if you complain about the recent changes, Nancy is likely to go to bat for you and get you a raise and some help with your workload. Would that be enough to keep you happy for long?

You didn’t say in your message that it would kill you to leave your job because of the incredible projects and opportunities for learning that you experience every day. Almost nobody wants to change jobs, because change is hard. Most of us only change jobs when we have to.

Mother Nature is nudging you now. If you’re afraid of getting labeled a disgruntled employee just for speaking with your manager about your legitimate concerns, how can you even think about staying in that company a minute longer than you have to?

You deserve better! You deserve a place where the managers don’t roll over and play dead the minute a higher-up manager tells them to make a change. You deserve to work for a manager who asks your opinion and your teammates’ opinions before implementing big changes.

You deserve to work in a place where your flame can grow! That place is out there, but you have to go find it. My recommendation is to button your lip, update your Human-Voiced Resume, start researching local employers and give Nancy your notice once you’ve accepted a new job.

Life is all about learning. Nancy will survive your departure, and if she’s clueless enough to be cross with you for voting with your feet instead of warning her that she was at risk of losing you, you’ll survive her disappointment, too!

All the best,


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