When should you leave your job…?
Sam Wilson, May 27, 2014
Before we get started let me say for the record that I am by no means suggesting that we all quit our jobs tomorrow. If you are happy where you are then stay there, if you aren’t happy where you are…stay there whilst you look for something else. It is a lot easier to get a job when you are currently in employment. Right, now I’ve got my disclaimer out of the way, let’s begin.
Nobody loves their job all the time, or if they do they are either incredibly lucky or insane, however a lot of us are lucky enough to have jobs that we enjoy and find success in. Many aren’t so lucky and to those people I would recommend taking some time to think about whether there is something you could do about that. The following questions are designed to make you think about this and the answers should hopefully go some way to helping you decide whether it might be time to start looking for pastures new.
Do you hate your alarm clock?
None of us like getting up on a Monday morning, the weekend is always too short and the mornings come too soon. However, if the sound of your alarm clock fills you with dread and panic then I would say that something isn’t quite right. You shouldn’t go to bed worrying about the following morning and you shouldn’t feel anxious every time you think about work. It’s not healthy and it is not fair on yourself to live like this.
Do you like talking about work?
There’s a very particular glazed look that occurs in people’s eyes, this very particular look is one that occurs when a certain member of their group is talking about their job…again. If you regularly see this look in your friends and families’ eyes then that’s a really good sign. People that like talking about their jobs are generally very happy in them and proud of the work they do. This could be for any number of reasons and none are better than others, it’s just good that they are happy in their work. If all of the above is completely alien to you and you have never experienced this then it might be worth considering why that is and whether you might find similar happiness to your friends and family elsewhere.
Do you want your boss’s job?
I don’t mean right now and I’m certainly not suggesting that you go looking to usurp your boss because that is unlikely to end well. What I mean is whether in the future you could see yourself doing your boss’s job because that could be a strong indication as to whether you have a genuine future at your current company. It’s important to think about your future, not so much that you lose sight of the present but enough that you have an idea of where you’d like to go. If you can’t see yourself in your boss’s role or a similar more senior role then it would be fair to say that your progression opportunities in that company are limited and it’s up to you to decide at what point you need to start looking elsewhere.
Are you still working hard?
A loss of passion for what you do normally leads to a significant drop in productivity, the enthusiastic early days of the job become a thing of the past and your days plod along at one pace with one eye firmly on the clock. If every second after 9:01am is spent longing for 5:29pm then it’s unlikely that a massive amount of effort is going into your work and that’s a real problem. To say that you should love every moment that you spend at work, you should pour every part of your being into everything you do while you’re there and then shed a tear once you are forcibly removed from the building would be ridiculous. You should, however, want to achieve things whilst you’re at work and get some personal gratification from working hard. If you’re not getting inspiration to make any real effort then you need to find somewhere that provides you with some.
Leaving your job is a big decision not to be taken lightly but you owe it to yourself to find a job that excites and inspires you, makes you feel ok about getting up in the morning and proudly bore your friends about.
Quitting your job can be very stressful however it can be a hugely positive step that will make you a lot happier in the long run. If it is the right time then find something new and take the plunge. You might look back on it as the best decision you ever made.