Resign to Put Yourself First

Quitting from your job does not mean you gave up.

Some people are able to see the signs that it’s time to leave their job, and they’ll either try to improve the situation, simply gripe about it, or go into denial that the situation isn’t as bad as they think. But others are unaware of the signals that it’s time to get out. — Sara Sutton Fell , CEO and Founder of FlexJobs

Black leggings and sneakers as your uniform, making your own schedule and the convenience of being able to work out at any time sounds like a perfect job, correct? What made it perfect working as a Personal Trainer/Assistant Fitness Manager were my coworkers and our boss. We had fun, worked hard, celebrated each others’ successes, and became a family. We had successful and intelligent clients, and we made a decent living training them.

Trainers had two shifts: servicing sessions before our clients went to work, and in the evenings after work. This meant waking up at 3:30am to service a 5am client, training until 2pm and coming back at 5:30pm to service your evening clients. However, some trainers had a perfect 6am to 2pm schedule, but that took a lot of work and time to establish. When you go home, you are either programming your next day’s sessions, checking on your clientele’s nutrition, and confirming your sessions with your clients as you organize your schedule. On top of that, you have a personal revenue quota that has to be met at the end of the month and you are in charge of building your own business.

Every career has its pros and cons, but it’s the people that makes it worthwhile. It’s the people that makes you excited to go into work, and to leave work happy. Because of the people, the high stress and minimal work-life balance was unseen, at least for me.

Employees tend to remain with a company until some force causes them to leave. The concept here is very like the concept of inertia in the physical sciences: a body will remain as it is until acted on by a force. — Vincent S. Flowers and Charles L. Hughes

I was happy for 3 years with the company. I experienced self-actualization by becoming aware of what my purpose is, and feeling fulfilled with what I do. I realized what my natural strengths are, and most importantly, I was motivated by growth. My growth stopped when my boss resigned and management changed, and that was the force that caused me to leave.

Our team’s manager believed in putting her people first, the way any business should run. She was extremely organized, articulate in her writing and verbal communication, strategic in planning the club’s business, but most of all, she knew how to manage people.

Managing people is a skill but requires natural qualities that exudes leadership characteristics. She was an active listener, and coached us by letting us speak and realize what our strengths are, our own areas of opportunity, and allowed us to voice our own action plan for success. She was an avid reader, always bringing something new to the table in the form of exercise science or personal development and skills. She buffered the corporate expectations about sales and allowed us to focus on the big picture — to have fun, continuously educate ourselves that will provide elite service to our clientele, and sales will follow.

She trusted us and believed in our potential to be great. We had fun. Fitness is fun and it should be fun!

“People work for people — they do not work for businesses” — Donn Carr

I left because I believed my professional goals and growth would have not been met by the company. I felt that putting their people first took the back seat. Companies should promote those that can manage people, and reward individuals who have worked hard and amplifies strong leadership skills. My resignation was a blessing as it opened my eyes to my potential, and the opportunities available beyond the gym walls.

Change is inevitable. But a successful business should be adaptable to change, and management should follow suit. In the end, I’ve developed professional and personal skills that I can apply to my next journey, and more importantly, gained life long friends and mentors!

Putting yourself first is not selfish. Find the wisdom to know when it’s time to move on, and know that every obstacle is an opportunity to grow!