Is it time to quit your job? I run across people quitting their jobs all the time. More than normal.
I’m talking from CEOs to middle managers to entry-level positions.
Some quit for good reasons, and some for not as good (IMHO).
So, if you’re considering a job change, first ask yourself:
How long have I been feeling this way?
Are your feelings of dissatisfaction recent? Or is this a theme that keeps comes up in conversation at home and with friends over several months (or longer)?
I recently spoke with a business owner who said, “This week I thought, let’s just sell this sucker!” But he didn’t really mean it. It was more of an escape fantasy.
When I make major life decisions, I notice themes emerging over months, and sometimes years.
If this owner was thinking about selling for the past five years and now seemed like the perfect time, that would be a totally different conversation.
Have I given the job enough time?
Are you new to the job? Have you given it a fair shake?
Remember that short stints on a resume don’t look great, and that any interviewer will consider this a red flag and want to know more.
My suggestion is to give any career job two years at least before making any big decisions about it.
As my sainted mother frequently said,
“Beginnings are always hard!” What seems impossible in the beginning sometimes works out to be a good fit over time.
Have I talked with my leader(s) about it?
It’s common to have negative thoughts going on in your mind, but your boss knows nothing about it. Have you given your boss a chance to:
- Adjust your role?
- Review your compensation?
- Hear how you feel?
- Address your concerns?
Don’t quit without giving your current place a chance.
Especially if it fits into your larger career goals. BTW, if you haven’t thought through where you want to be in life and career, you owe it to yourself to take my free course on “Building Your Personal Annual Plan.” You can access it here:
Or you may want to assess where you are right now with some questions to challenge your thinking. You can find my free one page worksheet on that here:
Just don’t quit until you’ve taken every action within your control to make your current job workable.
Is there something else going on?
Your work life and your personal life are the same life! Are things at home spilling into work and making work feel unmanageable? Maybe, just maybe, it’s not your job.
It could be that working on a relationship at home will make everything in your life feel easier.
Make a list. Pinpoint the actual cause of your distress before taking action you may regret.
Your next workplace will want to know why you’re leaving your current workplace. Make sure you have reasons that satisfy them and you.
Does my company need me right now in the worst possible way?
Just consider the possibility that things will look better in the future, your current feelings are temporary, and your organization really needs you right now.
What happens to others when you leave? Does it ruin their lives too?
This isn’t to say that you must stay if it really isn’t right for you, but just to consider that tough times make great leaders.
If the circumstances weren’t horrible, we wouldn’t know Caesar Augustus, Joan of Arc, Winston Churchill, or other great leaders who stuck around to deal with seemingly unsolvable problems.
Leaders are formed during storms, not while sailing on calm seas with sunny skies above.
Do I think quitting will solve all my problems?
Here’s what I’ve learned: Every workplace has its poison. Every. Workplace. Without exception.
Poisons look like:
- Chaotic systems that frustrate you
- Difficult people in key roles that aggravate you
- Long hours
- Lots of travel
- Customers that you wish you never had to see again
- Pace of business that is the wrong speed for your comfort level
- Compensation that is lower than you might find elsewhere
- Seasonal busy periods that are challenging
- Products that aren’t sexy
And on and on.
Just remember that when you quit and go elsewhere, you’re exchanging one poison for another. Maybe it’s a good trade, but it is a trade. Make sure you go to any new gig eyes wide open.
Your next workplace is going to have crazy parts to it that you really don’t like.
Having. A. Job.
Remember the old saying:
The grass isn’t necessarily greener on the other side of the fence (although sometimes it is😊). The grass gets greener when you water it!
Finally, some good reasons to quit your job
- You live through abusive behavior. If you’re creeped on, screamed at, or otherwise abused, find somewhere else to work. Life’s too short, and you’re too valuable to put up with that.
- You’re bored, dissatisfied, and there’s no more challenge available. If you have ambitions that simply can’t be satisfied where you currently are, a change may make sense.
- Your ethics are compromised. If your workplace plays fast and loose with issues of integrity, start looking.
Now I’m curious. Why have you quit jobs in the past? Leave your reasons in the comments section below!
The secret of getting ahead is getting started.
Trevor Throness is a speaker, consultant, and author of “The Power of People Skills.” He is also co-founder and senior instructor at gettingpeopleright.com https://gettingpeopleright.com/
Find more about “The Power of People Skills” here: https://www.amazon.com/Power-People-Skills-Dramatically-Performance/dp/1632651068