The Employment Opportunities List

The Ultimate Source for HR Jobs and Blogs. Friends Helping Friends of Friends.

Hanging On – How Does that Serve You?

Research by Angela Lee Duckworth shows that grit or perseverance is essential to your high achievement. We’ve all heard these platitudes before: persistence pays, finish what you start, the last one standing wins, honour your commitments… Really? I am no longer so quick to agree!

We know that in HR we live with continuous change and our work circumstances are continually altering. It is expected and is the source of our growth and evolution as professionals. Change pushes us to our limits, let’s us create new solutions, opens new vantage points and forces us to challenge how we are in relation to the people we support. So what’s my problem with hanging on?

There is an important distinction to be made. It is wrapped around something fundamental to who you are: your integrity! So what do I mean by integrity? Integrity is defined as the concept of consistency of actions, methods, values and principles.

Think back to when you started your current role. Do you remember your excitement, anticipation and the delicious sense of expectation for the contribution you would make? Can you feel it? Really, really feel it? Is it still there now? Ask yourself if what you agreed to initially is so fundamentally altered that there is no agreement left. Ask yourself where “you” are in the decision to hang on. Is it about a sense of obligation, someone else’s notion of perfect timing or is it your conscious choice?

Hanging on serves you when you are still in congruence with your integrity, professional code of ethics, respect the people you work with, can see and feel your positive contribution to others and are continuing to grow. But what happens when staying involves reputational risk so that now you are being asked to do things that bump up against your boundaries? What if the work is now just plain tedious but you want more career development? Are you playing YOUR best game? Are you betraying yourself by depriving another organization of your talents and unique magic?

I’m all for hanging on but for the right reasons!



  1. Couldn’t agree more, I was in a position for 8 years and I hung on hopefully for more than a year after things went sour. I do not regret my time there, but looking back now I really should have moved on earlier than I did. The last year of perservering was a waste of my time and took its toll on me mentally and physically. So I agree you have to know when it is worth it to perservere to reach your goals and be fulfilled. This is not always the case so tread lightly and “know when to hold them and when to fold them”!!

Leave a Reply