I often urge clients to read this book because the job search and career management require the ability to know when to quit. Too often, job seekers will follow one method of looking for work. When that method doesn’t bring results, they quit looking for work. Godin’s advice – quit using the method that is not working. Try something new.
The Dip is not just about quitting. It also challenges readers to realize their gifts, which will lead to happiness in career and life. When we find our goal, it will not be easy to achieve. As Godin puts it, “The dip is where success happens.” The problem is that too many people quit at the wrong time. They give up on what can make them happy and settle for the safe career.
When should you quit? Whenever you find yourself in a dead end situation (what Godin calls a cul-de-sac), it’s time to make a change. This situation may be in your career, your personal life, investing, or any other aspect of life. Quitting is often incremental rather than radical. For example, a husband and wife who are fighting can quit by going to a marriage counselor or minister rather than quickly running to divorce lawyers. The solution is to quit what is holding you back, not to run in the opposite direction.
Godin says that the best time to quit is “before you start.” Know why you are doing something, what you want to get from it. Is it worth the effort? Write down your goals. Write down what factors would make it worthwhile for you to quit. If you are moving toward your goals, keep pushing and quit only what holds you back. If you’re in a rut, quit digging. Climb out and try something new.
To be happy at work or any other aspect of our lives, we need to feel that we are performing at our best level. This means more than getting a good report from your supervisor. Each of us needs to affirm to ourselves that our work has value, that we are doing our best. Godin challenges us: “Quit or be exceptional. Average is for losers.” Much of our dissatisfaction in life is not that we feel like losers, but that we are average, floating, not real in control. The question to ask at these time is: Are we in the dip fighting toward our goals? Or – are we in a cul-de-sac? These questions require some hard thinking about what we really want. Once we define our goals, it’s a matter or knowing whether to quick or stick.
The Dip does not claim to offer a one-size-fits-all answer or method. The book is valuable because it reminds us that we are responsible for our own happiness and success. We have to make the right choices. To get ahead, winners know when to quit.