M:Mario is sick. Not with coronavirus but with work. He is sick and tired of his work. Is this a good time to change companies? Mario, frankly, I want to give you a good kick in the behind for being so ungrateful at this time when many have lost their jobs, are about to be out of work or closing their businesses. By the way, what do you do? I might be too harsh in thinking you are ungrateful for your work. If you believe your work is not worth keeping and the financial consideration does not outweigh your physical, mental and emotional well-being, maybe you have to take a rest so you can be at peace.
DJ: More and more people these days are on two extreme sides of the pole—those without work and are losing their jobs, and those who are facing increased responsibilities as a result of the pandemic and its impact. Perhaps Mario is among those who are swamped, overwhelmed, highly stressed, are pushed by worst times to make big life decisions. But before he makes any move, I suggest that he take into account the salary he’ll lose in a time like this and the benefits too, like insurance coverage and other perks like a bonus he’ll lose out on. Besides, getting back into the workforce can be challenging, all the more during these tough economic times.
M: Having a job at this time is a huge blessing, and changing companies to work for at this point is not exactly easy. With millions unemployed and even big companies retrenching or closing down their business operations, it will be hard to make career changes or switch employers. Think things through. File a health leave if you feel that you are getting physically tired or mentally drained. Maybe you just need to take a short break to regain your equanimity.
DJ: I agree. Can Mario take a leave for a period of time? Can he go for a reduced schedule? He can take in less income, but the long-term costs will be far less compared to when he completely quits. Perhaps he might want to discuss this with his boss. Does he have savings? How long will this last him or his dependents? What are his financial obligations? It might also be worth sniffing around if his company is laying off. This can make him eligible for unemployment benefits. Does he have a Plan B? What’s the best thing that can happen if he quits? What’s the worst thing? Which one weighs more? Deserting at this time might have financial ramifications today or in the future. Most economic models predict that the hard times will continue to get even worse before they’ll get better. Recovery might take years. Mario has to think about his next steps very, very carefully, evaluating the risk he can take on and then prepare for it.
M: Work can be a boon or a bane. It’s our attitude toward it that can make it so. All work and no play makes Jack or Jill a dull boy or girl. Having no work at this time has made many jobless people feel hopeless and anxious. And they who have no work or are about to lose it would probably gladly take your place so they can continue to provide for themselves and their families. If you still think you want to stop working and just live a relaxed, stress-free, work-free life, let’s see a few months from now if you will feel the same way when your savings are depleted and no income is forthcoming. Maybe by that time, you will be sick and tired of doing nothing and wishing you had your work again. Think about it.
DJ: This pandemic is not going to last forever, even if going through the current state might make it hard to keep this perspective in mind. I’ll set the expectation too, that quitting his job will unlikely solve all his problems. It will probably create different ones. The question here is which problems he’ll choose to have. There is such a thing as the law of supply and demand. If the supply is less and the demand is high, supply has power. If the demand is low and supply is high, demand has power. How big is his need for a job compared to how the market needs him? Whoever has the higher need, frankly, has to ultimately suck it up.