How Do You Know It’s Time to Leave Your Job? When Should You Stay?
The majority of us spend more valuable waking hours at work than anywhere else. However, we have all had those times during work when we start to wonder if we are pursuing the correct path. But, if those weeks of doubt turn into months with no light at the end of the tunnel, it may be time to start to think reasons to leave your job for a better one.
Now, we all know that to leave your job is easier said than done! Change it scary! Even if your current employment is less than desirable at least it is comfortable and you know what to expect, right? No! Not good enough! Occasional dissatisfaction is one thing, but months of unhappiness in the work place are another. How do you know when it is time to get out? When do we dare to take that leap? How do you leave your job gracefully?
Here are several points to ponder:
You dread going to work…EVERY DAY.
Sunday night… or Monday Eve as we have all called it. How do you feel about the upcoming week? Prior to making such a life changing decision, it is imperative to tune into your feelings and determine how you are truly feeling and why? While it is normal to have a sense of apprehension about a new week getting under way and handling all that is expected of us, we should not have a horrific sense of dread. We know the difference. Think about it.
You suffer from boredom and monotony.
Routine can be a great thing; in fact, most of us thrive on it. However, if “routine” becomes “boredom”, there is a problem and chances are it is not going to get better. We like to feel safe and know what to plan on… to a point. We also need some spontaneity and excitement in our daily lives. Finding that balance in the workplace is not an easy task. If you find yourself not doing anything more productive than watching the minutes of your life tick by on a slow moving clock, than it may be time for a change. We all have to decide what quality of life we want to have. Where is your passion for the work? Don’t we all deserve some happiness, not just a paycheck?
Your personal life is suffering.
Work can be a great place to meet people with similar interests, make friends and expand your social circle. While your number of work relationships is not important to everyone, the quality of the relationships that can be found on the job should be. Let’s face it; we spend a lot of time with these people. If you have nothing in common with any of your fellow employees and would turn down the wrong isle in the grocery store just to avoid any one of them, you are missing out on an opportunity to enjoy work more fully, by enjoying the people around you!
There’s no room for advancement and you don’t want your boss’s job.
If you have been in the same position for a significant amount of time and there is no talk of advancement, raises, promotions, or even learning opportunities, you may truly be in a dead-end job. If you don’t feel challenged and think that you have learned all there is to learn about your position, it may be time to make a move in a more positive direction.
Comfort doesn’t equal happiness, not for the majority of us. Make sure that you are not confusing the two. Every job should increase your skills and add to your value. You should be able to see the path and know that there is a road ahead that will secure a meaningful future. Don’t simply get stuck.
Your company is shrinking.
Have you seen others with their head on the chopping block only to think, “thank goodness it’s not me?” Well, if there is a lot of downsizing going on, don’t get over-confident in thinking that it could never happen to you, because it could. If your company seems to be heading in a bad direction and you are not seeing future plans and growth, you need to be weighing your options and looking elsewhere. Don’t be caught waiting around for the ax to fall.
You want to leave your job because you have a direction in mind.
Now, if you are reading this article and feeling inspired, don’t get ahead of yourself and empty your desk today! Know the risks. Make a plan. Bring your resume and your network current. Have jobs leads, renew contacts and business relationships. Invest in your own professional development. Changing is a process and it takes planning to handle it properly. Be sure to talk to a spouse or family if it will affect them as well. They may also be a good guide to be sure your motives are just.
If possible, have another job lined up. Don’t just assume that you will be able to “get by” for a while. In today’s economy this move will be tougher than you think unless you have a substantial savings account that you are willing to dip into.
Don’t leave your job on a negative note.
No matter the circumstances of your departure, it will do you a dis-service to exit in any other way than a professional manner. Remember, you may need references in the future, don’t burn bridges. Word also travels quickly, especially in some industries. The business world can be smaller than you think. You don’t want to get the reputation for being some one that can’t land or be counted on. You don’t want a legacy as a “quitter.” Wrap up loose ends, complete assignments and tasks and even assist in finding a replacement where possible. Leave in a friendly and polite manner. This will ensure that fellow employees have no room to speak ill of you.
Once you have departed, do not speak negatively of your past employer or company. It will serve no purpose and my even damage your prospects with future employers.
Leave your job, but don’t stand in your own way.
When you are ready, you will know. Don’t continue to promise yourself that you will quit day after day. Be brave, be bold and make the change. If you are not working to your full potential, if you are unhappy, stressed and underappreciated or simply not living your best life, what do you truly have to lose? Focus on the fact that you have everything to gain! Making the decision to leave can be gut-wrenching but with proper planning and hard work, it can be the best move you ever make. Don’t become paralyzed in your current reality, believe in yourself and work for the happiness you deserve.
By Brandy Higginson, Five Strengths Contributor