The phases of a person in an organisation can be compared well with the phases of life- childhood, adult age and old age. One learns in the first phase, delivers in the second and faces discomfort in the third one. An employee must not leave an organisation before he has delivered and must not continue in the discomfort phase.
Remember that basic lesson of school days; the three phases of life- childhood, adult age and old age. Childhood till adult age is the phase when you learn fast and grow to your maximum height. Adult age is the phase when your learning speed slows down. However you get the crucial lessons of life to earn your bread and butter and give your share to the society through your hard work. Old age is the phase when you decline physically and your learning stops. Many prefer a retired life during this phase. Among those who do not, learning hardly increases. Everyone knows that, no big deal about it.
The time that you spend in an organization can also be divided, usually, into three phases and can be compared to the phases of life. The first phase is the adjustment phase. It is a phase of steep rise in terms of learning and understanding of the environment as is the case of childhood. It also includes identification of friendly and less-friendly people around us and building of bonds with like-minded people. It is also marked by developing a rapport with boss and subordinates. We are generally learning more and delivering less in this phase. The more we learn, the more we are able to deliver during the rest of our time in the organization.
The second phase is known as the comfort phase. It is called so as we have already developed our relationship with our bosses, colleagues and subordinates and hence are able to work comfortably. Our speed of learning decreases. Yet our hands-on experience increases as we apply our knowledge and skills at work. This is the phase in which we are to prove our mettle. Hence this can be well compared with adulthood. By the end of this phase, our learning would be complete. We would have tested our knowledge and skills and gained sufficient experience of the work profile. The end of this phase is marked by the beginning of realization that there is no new learning at work. The higher a person is in the hierarchy, the longer is the comfort phase.
The third phase or the discomfort phase is marked by lack of learning or challenge. The work slowly turns out to be mundane. There may be a lack of new responsibilities to throw up new challenges in life. There is increase in work related stress. This can, thus, be compared to the old-age of anyone’s life.
If a person is leaving an organization in the adjustment phase, he has neither had enough learning nor experience. Also he has not delivered in the current job profile. He probably is not able to adjust to the new work environment. If someone is resigning in the third phase, he has not added much value to himself after the second phase, no new learning and no new experience. He might not be willing to take up new challenges and this leads to involvement in office politics which adds value neither to him nor to the organization that he is serving.
The best phase for exiting a job is the end of comfort phase; the time when you have given your best to the organization that you are serving and when your learning and experiences are rich enough to take up bigger challenges in some other organization.
There are, of course, exceptions to this. For someone who is working on projects, every project is a new assignment and brings new challenges; hence the discomfort phase may not come. Similarly, if a person is in education, any new assignment will be similar. However, we all know that exceptions prove the rule. Now you decide.