I was surprised to hear in the news today that Nico Rosberg had retired from Formula 1 racing, with immediate effect. He was crowned World Champion on Sunday, following a tense end to the final race of the season. He’s been in the top level of the sport for 10 years, so you could say his world success was overdue, and it must be fantastic to have emulated his father, won the title 34 years ago.
I’m not a massive motorsport fan, but I do watch the occasional race. I think that you must have nerves of steel to drive at high speed with your backside so close to the ground for so long, judging racing lines, corners, overtaking and other things with almost microscopic precision. To walk away from the sport when you’re at the pinnacle of it takes even more bravery I think. Not for Nico the efforts to become champion again and again: he can now sit back, chill out, and enjoy time with his family, without having to travel the world.
In my own working environments over the years I’ve adopted an approach along the lines of “if you don’t enjoy your work, change your job”. All too often I’ve heard people complaining about various things: the company, their colleagues, the work they have to do, their clients etc. In my view, they should either put up or shut up i.e. accept things as they are, and get on with things without complaining, or do something about it by changing jobs. I appreciate that fear may be a factor in discouraging people, and that some may be convinced that they don’t have transferable skills. The latter is something that you need have faith in, have courage in: you’re capable, you’re employable, you can learn new ways of working if you have to. You won’t know until you try.
My questions to you today are: is it better to leave when you’ve done all you set out to achieve, reached the highest point possible? Or do you stay on, try to reach that high point again? What if you’re in a job that doesn’t have that high point, that one obvious target for everyone to aim at? Should you stay in a job you don’t enjoy just because the money is good? The choice is yours, and yours alone. Good luck with whatever decision(s) you make.