It’s pride that makes us want to shout, “I quit!” when faced with unreasonable job frustration. It’s also self-preservation that makes us refrain from doing so – at least, most of the time. Your job, after all, is your livelihood.
It provides your basic needs (and perhaps those of your loved ones) as well as other enjoyable thing – like a nice dinner out or a day at the ballpark. So before delivering that potentially regrettable declaration , take time to really think about it. Your livelihood and happiness depend on it!
First, it’s important to know the difference between a bad week at work and when it’s time to make a change. Are you reacting to a single, isolated incident? Or does your dissatisfaction stem from a more persistent problem? Not only should you be completely confident and clear about the reasons why you want to leave a job (so you won’t have later regrets when you do), but you should also have a plan in place for doing so.
Use these simple guidelines to help make a more informed choice.
Write down your thoughts
Ask yourself what your reasons are for wanting to leave:
– Are you ready to advance in your job, but see no advancement opportunities?
– Are you doing the job of two or even three people?
– Do you and your supervisor often not see eye-to-eye?
– Do you feel like your talents are being wasted?
– Is your job interfering with your family responsibilities?
– Is your job making you physically ill?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you have a good reason for wanting to leave. Then ask yourself, is there any action you can take to improve the situation in your current job? If there isn’t, or if taking that action doesn’t seem like a worthwhile effort, then your energies are probably better spent looking for a new job.
Talk it over
It’s always good to get a second (or third!) opinion. Talk to a friend, a mentor, a family member or even a career counselor. The more objective opinions you can gather, the better off you’ll be. Talking to others may also help you see what options there are in the wider job market.
Make a list
Sometimes the hardest decisions are that way because there are positives as well as negatives. Make a list of both, and then tally the results. You may decide to go with the numbers or not, but, either way, you’ll know what you’re dealing with. And some solutions may come to you in the tallying process.
If you or a covered dependent have serious health concerns, be sure you understand what your health coverage options will be if you leave your job. You might want to look into secondary medical coverage. Money concerns may also play a role in your decision-making. Do you feel confident that you can earn the same or better salary in a different job? Can you afford to take a pay cut in order to make a career change – that may pay off better in the long-run?
If you do decide to leave your job before lining up a new one, try to have 3-6 months of living expenses saved to support yourself during a job search. Ideally, it’s great if you can line up a new job first and make a seamless transition.
One thing a day
If you do decide it’s time to bust a move, do one thing a day during the week to get you closer to your goal (update your resume, reach out to a potential contact, post your resume on an online job site, call a recruiter, etc.). Just think, by the end of the month, you will have done 20 things that move you closer to your ultimate goal (and happiness!).
Taking control of your job situation is the first step toward improvement. You may feel stuck at first, but as you delve deeper, options and choices will open up to you. Whatever you decide, you’ll know you’ve made a decision that you can feel totally confident about – and you’ll have the tools to keep making informed decisions about your career choices!
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