Most of us take a job with the idea of making money. Conversely, quitting a job typically means the money will stop coming in. A number of progressive companies are turning this “fact” on its head by offering employees a one-time cash bonus for quitting the company.
Zappos, the online clothing and shoe retailer, was one of the first to gain recognition with “The Offer.” The online retailer offered new employees $4,000 to leave during primary training. When Amazon purchased Zappos, it decided to keep The Offer program and sweeten the deal, offering a payout opportunity every year. During the first year of employment, Amazon employees receive an offer of $2,000 to quit. Each year, the offer goes up $1,000, up to $5,000.
Boosting Morale and Productivity
While some might see this as one step away from crazy, Amazon owner Jeff Bezos views the policy as a way to keep the employees who want to be there. Anyone with the misfortune of being unhappy in a job or work alongside someone who hates his or her job knows how poisonous such an environment can become for everyone involved.
Not a Dress Rehearsal
Considering just how much time all of us spend at work, isn’t it worthwhile to consider if we are in a workplace that’s right for us? Answering this question may take some time and consideration and the answer is unique to the individual. For some, the ideal job provides flexibility, growth and an ability to move up the corporate ladder. For others, the perfect work environment includes knowing the expectations of the job with as few surprises as necessary.
Work that Doesn’t Feel Like Work
Much has been written about being in the Flow. This is a state where time seems to pass because you’re in the middle of an activity that’s enjoyable, allowing you to lose track of time. While it’s difficult to find oneself in the middle of a flow all of the time, achieving this state is preferable more often than not, and it becomes even easier when you do work you enjoy.
Considering the importance of employment in a place that works for your skills, lifestyle and personality, why don’t more of us have this figured out, with or without the $2K-$5K signing bonus? Often the roadblock is related to indecision, a lack of self-confidence and a tendency to worry about potential problems. If you’re constantly worrying about which choice is the right one, it starts to feel safer to make no decision at all, which can create acceptance of a situation known in the heart to be wrong.
One way to break through the clutter of indecisiveness is to know what priorities are most important to you. Again, this is different for everyone, but knowing you value family or education can help make it easier to choose a job that supports those elements. For instance, if family is a priority, a job requiring extensive travel will quickly become a burden. Conversely, if you like the excitement of new situations and meeting new people, a job requiring business travel could be a great match. These are big decisions, so start slow. Begin thinking about what’s more important to you and realize life is rarely black and white. Good things can come from any decision; it all depends on how you look at it.