Video: I Quit!
updated 1/3/2006 10:25:01 AM ET 2006-01-03T15:25:01

Is one of the your new year's resolutions to quit your miserable job?  Before you go and tell your boss how you really feel about him, it may be smart to listen to Sally Hogshead, author of 'Radical Careering: 100 Truths to Jump-Start Your Career, Your Job and Your Life,' a new book on moving forward in the workplace.

Hogshead joined MSNBC's Tucker Carlson on Monday to discuss her book and offer such advice as 'aspire to be the dumbest person in the room.' 

To read an excerpt from their conversation, continue to the text below. To watch the video, click on the "Launch" button to the right. 

TUCKER CARLSON:  So a lot of people, I think this New Year's have decided they want to make a radical change in their lives.  It's a pretty easy piece of advice, quit your job, but how do you know when you should quit your job? 

SALLY HOGSHEAD, AUTHOR, "RADICAL CAREERING:  If you're in a job and you can tell that you're not getting anything from the people you work with, and everyone is uninspired, and they all go out for beers after work and they all complain but nobody's doing anything about it, when you can tell you're in a diseased workplace, it's time to start thinking about your options. 

CARLSON:  So if other people are unhappy, that's a sign you ought to take off.  

HOGSHEAD:  And no one is doing anything about it, especially if the corporation is being run by politics, or if people have priorities that are out of whack with yours.  If you're committed to making a lot of money, but they're committed to going home at 5:00.  Or if you're committed to being outstanding at your job, but they're committed to just making a wheelbarrow-full of stock options, then your priorities are out of whack and you're not going to be successful in that job.

CARLSON:  If people took your advice, there would not be a single employee at the DMV.  I mean, you know, if everybody who worked at an uninspiring workplace quit, there would be a lot of unemployed people. 

HOGSHEAD:  Yes, it's true.  And thank God for those people who are willing to slog through in an uninspiring job, so that we all have driver's licenses.  Very true.

CARLSON:  Good point.  But it's a pretty radical move to do it.   Should you have something lined up before you do it? 

HOGSHEAD:  A lot of people say that you should.  I believe that the most important thing you can do as soon as you start a job is to start thinking about, what is my next move?  You can't plot the chess game when you're ready to quit, because by that time, it's too late.  You needed to start work on your personal brand, your reputation, your contacts, the results that you can generate.  These are the things that you need to be doing along the way.  You can't wait until you're miserable in your job to suddenly start thinking about that. 

CARLSON:  It's kind of reckless, isn't it?  I mean, if you just kind of split -- what if you've got a family to support? 

HOGSHEAD:  And I have a family to support.  I'm the sold breadwinner of my family.  My husband is a stay-at-home dad, and I've twice made a radical career move.  One time, I took a 50 percent pay cut.  And it was pretty harsh, I have to say, but by strategically plotting why you're going to move into the job that you are, you can gather what I call portable equity, which is all the forms of capital, like skills and experiences and contacts-all the things that you need to propel you forward into your next job.  That's the best form of job security that you can have. 

CARLSON:  What, is having these skills? 

HOGSHEAD:  Exactly.  Having that bank account, having a career bank account with the contacts and the experiences, those lines on your resume that you can put in bold that can stand out to demonstrate the value you can bring to any given job. 

CARLSON:  How hard is it to get a job if you don't have one? 

HOGSHEAD:  I don't think the point is whether you have a job or not.  I think the point is, can you demonstrate the value that you can bring to the party immediately, starting today? 

CARLSON:  I always think, though, that people I know who have been unemployed tend to kind of fall into this rut, where they're not thinking like an employed person anymore, and you sort of feel like a loser and then you start acting like a loser. 

HOGSHEAD:  It's so true.  And you know, your own perception of your market value starts plummeting. 

CARLSON:  That's right.

HOGSHEAD:  And that's a game, though, that you're playing with yourself.  That's not the job market playing that game with you.  I don't think people think that you're worth less just because you're unemployed.  I think that you start thinking you're worth less, and so you stop aiming as high as you should. 

CARLSON:  Really?  I sort of-I don't know, I look down-I mean, I'll be totally honest, I know people who have, you know, been looking for a job for a long time, and after a while you start to think, well, I don't know, you're having three beers at lunch.  I sort of blame them. 

HOGSHEAD:  That's called a sabbatical.  Those are the salad days.

CARLSON:  OK.  But you think ultimately it is worth the risk?  You're for the skydiving approach to it, sort of do the right thing in the end-in the short-term, and you'll gain in the long term. 

HOGSHEAD:  I think it's more of a strategic decision than that.  Because if you're in a job and you know that you're in a crappy job and you know that you need to get out of that job, start plotting your move ahead of time. 

CARLSON:  Right.

HOGSHEAD:  So start thinking about what are the things that I need to accomplish in order for me to have the job that I really want?  So if there's a specific type of a project that you need to be able to spearhead, to demonstrate to your current employer that you can take on the type of responsibility that that job will demand, then start that project today.  Even if you're not going to quit your job until after you've finished that project.  Do you see what I mean?

CARLSON:  Yes.  So you just become sneaky in your current job.

HOGSHEAD:  You become strategic in your current job. 

CARLSON:  So you're not stealing-you're stealing skills, basically.

HOGSHEAD:  You know, if your employer isn't giving what you need to be happy in your job and they don't give you the opportunity to create that, it's got to be a two-way street.  Your job is not just about you giving to your employer.  Your employer has to be giving you what you need in order to feel valuable and proud and fulfilled. 

Watch 'The Situation with Tucker Carlson' each weeknight at 11 p.m. ET

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