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8 Ways to Know It’s Time to Let Go

8 Ways to Know It’s Time to Let Go

Remember that old episode of Seinfeld where Jerry wanted to “break up” with a guy with whom he had been friends, but really didn’t have anything in common with anymore? A lot of us feel that way at times, but instead of confronting the situation, we just deal with it. How many times have you gotten together with an old college friend just because you were both in town? You didn’t have much at all to talk about (especially because you know everything you need to anyway – thanks to Facebook).

There are often people in your life that you truly care about, but are holding you back from attaining your true potential. Here’s how you know it’s time to let the friendship die out, even if it’s hard to let go.

1. Let go because things aren’t the same

There are times when you meet up with friends you haven’t seen in a while and feel like you haven’t missed a beat. Other times you’ll find yourself in company with others, and have absolutely nothing to talk about. You used to have so much in common, so it’s hard to believe your friendship has flat-lined.

Time is precious. If you feel like a certain relationship is wasting your priceless time and energy, it’s time to move on.

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2. Let go because trust and loyalty are gone

Sometimes, “friends” are only out for themselves, but it takes some time to figure that out. When you were younger, you were okay with having someone simply to hang out and shoot the breeze with. But as you age, you realize the friendship is one-sided. The other person is around for the good times, but isn’t there when you need them the most.

When you figure out that someone isn’t a true friend, it’s time to drop them from your life – immediately.

3. Let go because the relationship isn’t transparent

The best friendships are completely transparent, meaning each of you know exactly what the other wants from each other. If you’re looking for a pal to have a beer with, that’s totally fine, as long as the other person isn’t looking for something deeper.

On the other hand, when you don’t know what your “friend’s” intentions are, it’s hard to know where the friendship is headed.

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4. Let go because the friendship is toxic

Toxic friendships are deadly. Typically once you’ve figured out a friendship is poison, it’s already done serious damage.

In college, you might have been friends with people who enjoyed getting drunk every weekend. While that isn’t so out of the ordinary in your early 20s, is that really what you want as you approach 30? You might still think you’re having fun, but it will catch up with you sooner than you think.

If you can’t hang out with your long-time friends without falling back into bad habits, it’s time to make a change.

5. Let go because you don’t have the same life goals

Everyone reaches a point when they realize their life goals differ from their friends’. While it’s okay to keep them around in small doses, when you’re looking to make a giant change in your life, you have to accept that things won’t be the same.

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For example, if you’re focusing on a serious relationship and trying to build a family, you won’t have loads of time to spend going out with other friends. It might be hard to get used to the change, but once you take the big step, you’ll see how rewarding your lifestyle change can be.

6. Let go because you’re doing all the work

You always make the plans, only to have your friend cancel last minute. Take that hint and find others who actually want to spend time with you.

Maybe the other party is feeling your friendship peter out, but is afraid to say anything. Whatever the case may be, you don’t want to be a bother to someone you care about. Maybe they’re just going through a change of their own, and will come back to you when the time is right. But if you push them, they might not.

7. Let go because they aren’t pushing you to be a better person

Although it’s okay to have people whom you simply enjoy being around, your best friends need to inspire you. Actively seek out people who are motivated, optimistic, and hard-working. Simply “hanging out” with people will get you nowhere, and you’ll look back and realize you were just passing the time until something (or someone) better came around.

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When you find the people who always make you want to better yourself, you’ve found the right group.

8. Let go because you don’t want or need them in your life

Duh! It sounds pretty obvious, but you don’t have obligation to be friends with anyone. Focus on being yourself and making sure you’re happy. If you don’t need someone in your life, you shouldn’t feel guilty about leaving them behind. You might not want to hurt anyone, but that also doesn’t mean you should suffer, either.

If you’ve ever felt like you “had to” meet up with someone, rather than genuinely wanting to, you should reevaluate the way you treat your own self.

Featured photo credit: Flickrr via farm5.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

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Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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