When you just can’t stay stuck

At one point or another, the individual comes to a point that a decision has to be made. About 1 in 5 of the people surveyed by Eubach said that the process of questioning and the eventual decision-making was a gradual process. This meant that the majority had a long process of doubt of the current role and weighing alternatives. By contrast, the shorter the exit period, the less regret a person felt when exiting the role. Regardless of how prolonged the period may be, the person comes to the realization that they can no longer continue on with the current role and make a decision to do something about it.


The turning point, on the other hand, is a concrete moment in a person’s life. Psychologists define it as a period between two periods of stability. It can be definite, as in handing in a resignation letter to a supervisor, seeking treatment, filing for divorce, or making a formal announcement to loved ones. In some socially sanctioned roles, a formal ceremony such as graduation or taking final vows signals that the person is about to make a significant role transition.


For many people, the turning point comes as a time based factor. Many people who exit an existing job role find that the time constraint happens with time limited opportunities like going into partnership with another person or investing in a business venture.


The turning point crystallizes the decision for the individual, often as the last straw in an ever- mounting amount of pressure and dissatisfaction. A specific event can cause the exit, as in the case of a parent passing away, or it can have symbolic meaning to the person. For example, a new policy regarding how to turn in a monthly report may be the last straw for one person while it barely raises an eyebrow for his coworkers.


Sometimes the turning point can relate directly to a person’s health. Many exiters express that they leave due to fear that their mental or physical health will suffer. Sometimes an authority figure, like a doctor, will make it clear to the person that an exit is necessary. For people who are fed up and ready to leave, simply a suggestion from an authority figure that they should leave for their own health is the excuse that they have been looking for, and they take it as a reasoning for leaving.


For others, the turning point is either practically or symbolically means that they would appear weak of foolish to stay in the old role that no longer fits them. The point becomes a focal point for announcing to others that they are leaving and starting a new role. Those who oppose the decision will eventually make it necessary for the person to justify or explain the decision Another reason is that someone will realize that their life has become so far out of balance that it’s necessary to leave the role in order to bring their life back into order with their values. Finally, the exit becomes the point that the person starts to mobilize the social and emotional resources needed to make the exit.


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