Are You “Ready To Leave But Happy To Stay”?

Periklis. What an interesting name.

But the more I spoke to him the more I realised what an interesting (not to mention intuitive) character he is.

He was referred to me by another client I worked with almost 2 years ago who I happened to bump into at an early Christmas party last week. I have to say the power of a referral is by far the best possible advertising or marketing strategy.

It turns out that Periklis has found himself at a bit of a cross roads. He’s been with his current employer for over 6 years and is certainly not in a good place right now. He’s totally despondent, lacks any form of mentorship, gets into the office later and later every day, is no longer challenged and to use his own phrase, is just “in survival mode“.

When I asked him what he meant by “survival mode“, his response was quite simply, “I am ready to leave but happy to stay“.

Classic Comfort Zone Syndrome – which for the remainder of this post I will refer to as C.Z.S!

C.Z.S can be a dangerous place for any employee, but believe it or not C.Z.S can actually be worse for an employer.


Quite simply when someone is in the space that Periklis has found himself in is at work, it’s actually worse (for the employer) than if he had called in “sick“.

Absenteeism can easily be tracked and can be addressed. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know when someone has de-railed from the program and is taking “sickies” every now and then (well perhaps more “now” than “then”).

However, “presenteeism” (when somebody is physically at work but totally disengaged) is the stage between when someone (as Periklis said) is “ready to leave“, and when they finally shift their mind into gear and do something about it. In other words they are “happy to stay” until something better turns up.

Employees need to be aware of the symptoms and should take action before it actually impacts their ability to impress during an interview. But employers need to be just as aware if it appears that any of their staff are displaying the symptoms of C.Z.S because if left unaddressed, it can lead to the workplace becoming toxic … and believe me I have been there and it’s not pretty.

I am certainly not saying that Periklis is poisoning his workplace. At least he has realised his situation before he inadvertently starts de-railing others … especially any newer team members.

When it’s time to leave a job it’s time to leave a job. And sometimes it’s unavoidable.