We all have good days and bad days in the office. There is no definitive ratio of good to bad days that dictate when it is in fact time to jump ship. Whether you’re calling quits for the sake of your sanity, your overall happiness or for prospects of bettering your career, it’s a question no one should take too lightly.
If you are at conflict with yourself as to whether to leave your job, here are a few helpful questions that might be worth answering prior to making your decision.
Is it the role, is it an individual or is it the company itself? If it’s the role there might be room to move to another division or team. A different experience in the same institution might be a sensible alternative and certainly one worth exploring prior to walking out. Chat to HR or some of the other department heads and get a feel for any suitable roles that might become available. Moving departments might also solve the issue of working with a less than favourable individual. If, however, your gripe is with the company itself – procedural concerns, company strategies or policy implementations – it might be in your best interest to write a business plan outlining areas of improvement. Department heads get many complaints but few solutions so offering up a few well thought out and mindful suggestions might actually get the cogs in motion for an improved working environment.
Is leaving one role and looking for another going to make you happier? A job is after all still a job. And while a shiny new role might have its perks, there may well be unforeseen pitfalls too. Doing the same thing somewhere else might not be the answer you’re looking for at all. Many people leave for more money but quickly realise that money is only part of the happiness equation. While earning more has obvious benefits it shouldn’t be the only reason for leaving.
Take ownership of your situation by bettering what is in your control. It might be a matter of airing a few awkward conversations with a manager. Asking for an increase or at the very least a development forecast that may help to inspire or motivate you. Would taking on more responsibility help to engage you more? Or alternatively, would delegating some of your workload make things feel more manageable? Maybe you could request alternative perks like flexible hours or a working from home arrangement to improve your day-to-day experience. These are fair conversations to table with employers prior to quitting. It is an expensive and exhaustive process replacing good staff so giving them the opportunity to improve your situation is only fair.
Yes, you might not have to deal with a manager or co-worker or production line that drives you insane but the unemployment line can be a pretty frustrating place to be too.
Sometimes a clear head and a clear schedule allows gainful perspective on things. Give yourself some time away from the stress and angst of the office to really map out your thoughts on the situation. And maybe allow yourself the opportunity to answer some of the bigger questions: what do I really want from my life? How much of that am I getting it now? What is missing? And how do I get it?
When we’re in a stressful situation it’s easy to get bogged down beneath the negative things creating the anxiety and unpleasantness so much so that we overlook or simply forget some of the things we actually like about our job. It might be the autonomy, the company culture, the stimulation the role provides or simply the people you get to work with each day. Try to focus your energy on the positives. Let them surpass the negatives for a few days and see if there’s any improvement in your general outlook.
At the end of the day, only you can decide what’s best for you. Don’t let fear hold you back from making the right choices. Knowing your options and mapping out your thoughts goes a long way in helping to make the big decisions. Trust yourself and get things in motion, there’s no time like the present.
If you’ve had 3 or more periods without working, some longer than 3 months, you’ll need to prepare for one, if not all of the following questions.
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