Working hard without reward? Feeling like you’ve done your time, paid your dues, but still not getting the advancement or recognition you deserve?

People tend to view effort as an investment that will pay off, and view quitting as ‘giving up’ rather than maximizing success. Maybe the opposite is true. If this sounds interesting, this episode is for you.

In this episode of The Career Rx we’ll discuss:

  • What it means to NOT give your all
  • The myth that hard work alone equals advancement
  • The art of knowing when to quit

Today we’re talking about reasons why you should not give your all to one thing and why that’s a recipe for burnout and defeat. This topic comes from my reflections on Dr. Meg Meyers Morgan’s book called Everything is Negotiable, and some wisdom from Annie Duke’s book How to Decide. Listen for my take on what this means and how it applies directly to your career.

By the end of this episode, you’ll know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em, why it’s important to monitor how much energy you give to any one thing, and a main reason you aren’t seeing the return on the time you’ve invested in your career goals.

In this Episode:

[1:10] Add this book to your reading list
[3:30] Staying on track to not burning out
[5:45] Your work does not speak for itself
[9:30] Quitting is a strategy
[11:11] Are you practicing your quituitiveness?
[13:50] Learn how to grow your professional brand with The Branding Rx

Links and Resources:

The Branding Rx 18 hours of CME, mastering digital strategies for advancing your career, building your business, and growing your professional brand
Everything is Negotiable – Meg Meyers Morgan
How to Decide – Annie Duke



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Thanks for joining me on this episode of The Career Rx!

TRANSCRIPT: Episode 83 – Never Give Your All and Quituitiveness

Hey there. I’m Marjorie Stiegler and you’re listening to The Career Rx Podcast, where we tackle the important things they don’t teach you in medical school. Like how to treat your career, like the business it really is, with strategies to accelerate the kind of success that you want, because you deserve a career you love, and a career that loves you back. Are you ready?

Let’s get into it.

Hey there, welcome back. In today’s episode, I’m going to be sharing a few nuggets that I got recently, while I was preparing for some presentations that I was giving at a conference, some food for thought and some reflection on how you approach your career, and your intended career trajectory. So these are really their sort of mindset shifts or, or just, you know, again, something to reflect on. But I found them to be, you know, both simple and powerful all at once. And they’re reflected in the title of this episode. Never give your all and quit to itiveness. So let me get into these one at a time.

So first, never give your all. I got this from a book by Dr. Meg Meyers Morgan, she has a book called Everything is Negotiable, the five tactics to get what you want in life, love and work. I thought it was an interesting book with a lot of personal anecdotes in it. And, but they all culminate in good life lessons. And the one thing that I thought was the most powerful is that one of her five tactics, literally says to never give your all. And people’s reaction to this, I started to kind of share it, share it on social media, talk to colleagues and friends about this. And people’s first reaction is often sort of negative, like what do you mean, never give your all, of course, we should be giving our all. But there are a few meanings that underpin this. And I’ll also add my own thoughts on top of you know, some of the layer, what she discusses in the book, as well as my own sort of perception about this, from my perspective, there’s a couple things to consider.

So the first is she says, Really, no one thing should ever get your All right, this is obviously in direct conflict with taking care of yourself, taking care of your loved ones, and the pursuit of diverse and varied activities. So whether it’s personal or professional, if you want to have a life that’s full and rich, and doing all kinds of things, you obviously cannot literally give your all to any one thing.

So I think that’s important, especially in the modern day, as we know that burnout is so rampant, and people are really feeling like they are giving their all to a variety of things. I mean, it sort of exceeds 100%, right, it’s bigger than the entire pie that they have to give their cup is more than all the way empty. Right. And so people are really in a place where they feel desperate to, you know, to have some resilience, and it’s not even their own resilience, right, but to have some, some time back and some energy back.

And that I think, is directly related to, you know, how much are you giving, I think as physicians and especially as women, there’s a tendency to really want to respond to the call anything that anybody needs, right, or families and friends and neighbors and in our communities, people that we care about, we want to give as much as we can to them, and we want to give as much as we can to our patients, our jobs. And we wouldn’t be doing things if we didn’t think they were important. So then we feel like we want to give our all, but I think it’s a good cautionary note to not give any one thing you’re all into really kind of keep a conscious, you know, track of how much you are putting towards any particular thing.

Now, she says, to give a little to a lot of things. And I think this is especially true early in your career, where you’re not entirely sure you know where you want to go and what your trajectory ought to be. So you say yes to a lot of things, you kind of dip your toe in the waters, and give a little and see how it all works out. But then you have to adjust accordingly.

You can’t keep all those little things. And you should eventually start to shift your intentions, but still not to give your all so she says go ahead and you know, give a little to all the things that you want, see how it works out, obviously her books about negotiation. So it’s not a passive, see how it works out, but it’s sort of an exploratory phase. And she also says go ahead and give a lot to something if you want to write you can give a lot, but just don’t give your all.

So I thought that was an interesting perspective. And then I think there’s another interpretation here that is important for consideration, specifically as it relates to negotiation. So many people, I think women especially believe that our work speaks for itself and this is part of the reason that you find that you you may be doing this or your colleagues are just, you know, keeping their head down and just chugging along being as productive as possible, contributing as much as possible, working hard, giving their all and thinking really that if you work hard enough, and you give enough that you will get rewarded in due time, and that by having paid those dues and done all that work, and sort of sacrifice the martyr yourself, that at a certain point, someone will tap you on the shoulder and give you the permission slip, to move up or to, you know, to get ahead to do whatever it is that you want to do, that you’re working towards. But this is just flatly not true.

You’ve heard me speak about it before, you know that our work does not speak for itself. That’s why I’m such a strong proponent of professional branding. And really learning how to do that, I’ll put a link in the show notes for you on professional branding, specifically, but you know, learning how to communicate your contributions and your value. That’s what speaks right. So your work does not speak for itself, it’s important to do high quality work, obviously. But it’s even more important to communicate it and to communicate it in a compelling way.

So your work doesn’t speak for itself, your professional brand does, this is how you advocate for what you want. And in her book, Dr. Morgan says that, you know, it’s important to realize that there’s really no direct link, you know, a lot of people believe that in order to get something that you you know, hope to negotiate for that you have to give a lot, right, and that you have to give your all. And that’s generally what she sees that we do. So you give a lot, you give your blood, sweat, and tears, and you can often get very little in return. Or you can give just a little bit and negotiate quite a bit in return.

So there’s really no direct link, I think that’s the main point, I’m not trying to advocate that you, you know, sort of give only the bare minimum, that that’s definitely not the message here. But just that there isn’t a direct correlation between your effort and how much you give, and how much you get back.

So I would say take this and really be very strategic and mindful about what you choose to do, and how much effort you choose to put in each direction. And then really carve out and protect the time and the energy to develop how you communicate your value, because that is where you will get results in terms of your negotiation, it’s not a matter of accumulating a whole bunch of work. And having done everything that can possibly be done, that’s just going to burn you out, you know, kind of push you over the edge, and perhaps take away some of the love and joy from the work that you’re doing. So remember, there’s no direct link between how much you give, and how much you get in return.

So you can give what you want to give what feels right to you how much you want to give. But make sure that you are focused on your negotiation skills and your professional brand in terms of what you hope to get in return. And it’s not just like a head down, you know, put your all in and that that’s going to somehow be rewarded. I think that is the exception more than the rule. So she says definitely give but given a really smart way.

And she says be nimble enough to stay in the game. But don’t think you have to throw in all your chips to win. So it’s sort of a poker analogy, and I guess winning whatever that means to you, right? I mean, I don’t like to think of life as a winning losing type of scenario. But when you think about what you want to achieve, or the life that you want to create, the work that you want to create, that’s winning, I suppose, right? So whatever it is that you view to be a win in the short term or the long term. She says you don’t have to throw in all your chips to win. So interesting, interesting book, and I recommend checking it out.

I think also this poker analogy is a really great segue to talk about Annie Dukes work. So she is a former professional poker player. And now she’s a business consultant with a focus on decision making. And I recently heard an interview with her, which then made me want to go you know, check out the books. But in the interview, she was talking about quitting as one of the most important ways to advance towards success, which sort of sounds counterintuitive. And she referenced the song, The Gambler by Kenny Rogers. And as everyone knows those lyrics, right? The refrain everybody knows but it says you’ve got to know when to hold them, know when to fold them, know when to walk away, and know when to run. And the point being made was that three out of those four things are about quitting right 75% of the strategy there is when to quit right when to get out.

She goes on to say people are often confused about what it means to stick with something because we generally send tend to view people who you know, sort of stick it out as something to be proud of something to have pride around that we’ve really stuck with something and she says you know if we if we kind of flip that and we look at successes It’s true that for most things where you have a high degree of success, you probably did have to stick with something despite some struggles and some bombs and some challenges.

So when you have success and you look back, you can say, Yes, I stuck to it. And now I have success. But the converse is not necessarily true, right, the act of actually sticking with something does not in and of itself, lead to success. What it does often is just contribute to more and more sunk costs, right, more and more time that you can never get back more and more energy directed in in a way that’s not moving you towards your goal.

So she says great decision makers know when to cut their losses and get out of the game. And she calls developing this skill “quituitiveness”, which I like, sort of, I guess, a play on words, you know, in intuitiveness, or stick to itiveness, or whatever. But this is quituitiveness. And a really, really interesting because it is similar to the advice that we hear like that, you’ve got to say no to stuff, right?

People are well familiar with a lot of these leadership quotes that you know, the best leaders say no to almost everything are the most successful people say no to almost everything. There’s a lot of great books about how to say no well, and how to preserve relationships when you’re doing that, how to know when to say no, etc. But what a really interesting point that, you know, we that we do tend to sort of confound, if you stick with something that, that’s how you succeed, and that stick, the act of sticking with something is in and of itself, admirable. And she kind of flips that on its head and says, you know, maybe it’s not right, maybe it’s actually not that smart.

And that your decision making is knowing when to quit. And again, Kenny Rogers song 3/4 of the strategy there is knowing when to get out. So how can we apply this professionally, I’ve obviously only given a super tiny snippet of each of these women’s work, they both have books, I know at least Annie Duke has more than one. Meg Myers Morgan may also I’ll put links to these particular books in the show notes, you can go check them out for yourself, if you’re interested.

I think you know how to apply this professionally, it’s very important that we really do carve out the time to reflect on how much we give, and where and how strategically we give, as well as how we pursue what we hope to get. And are we relying on this strategy that if we just give enough that that in and of itself will yield rewards back to us. If you have been operating sort of, you know, whether consciously or not in that paradigm, it’s important to kind of snap out of that. And think about whether there’s a different better way to do things, and reflecting on you know, when and how we decide to stick with something versus when to quit and feel great about it, quit with pride, right?

These are really important things that will help you, you know, not only to accelerate your own professional success, but also to be able to live that full rich life where you can give a lot of yourself to all of the things that you want to rather than overextending yourself burning yourself out or giving too much of yourself in any one particular direction.

In terms of my own resources that I mentioned for you, if you’re stuck in that scenario, where you’re feeling like you’re wearing too many hats to really have a defined professional brand. So you’re having a hard time negotiating for, you know, what is your value? What is your contribution, or you’re feeling that your work is not it’s not speaking for itself, right, and it’s not getting you the advancement, that it should please come check out The Branding Rx. This has 18 hours of CME.

So it’s a great investment. And I think it’s just, it’s a must, I created it for all physician leaders, because the lessons inside are applicable not only to your professional brand, and therefore the success of your career, advancement or career pivot, but also can be applied to the just good old fashioned growth of your practice.

And even to the success of your side gig if you’re doing something on the side many, many physicians are so come check out the branding prescription that is one of the most important things that you can do to position yourself for the kinds of rewards that you want. So you can give a little and make sure that you spend a little of your time there, developing that brand so that you can negotiate back quite a lot.

I hope that’s given you some good food for thought for the week. Again, I’ll put those links down in the show notes. Until next time, bye for now.

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