We’ve all been there, slumped over our desks, checking the clock (and facebook) hoping time will somehow speed up.
Your latest project is boring. You hate your clients. The hours are loooong. This. Job. Is. Rubbish.
So you think to yourself, “Argh, if I’m this unhappy, I should just hand my notice in.”
But then you start to hear lots of voices all saying different things, “Should I leave? No! I can’t because the salary/commute/colleagues are great. I have to stay. But I hate it?!”
You feel overloaded and overwhelmed and.. end up stuck.
In these situations it can sometimes help to have a little outside support to become clearer on if and when you should leave your job soo… hi!
When you should leave:
Okay, first off, there is no one size fits all answer to this decision but there are a few clues that you shouldn’t disregard:
If you are in danger of damaging your professional/work reputation because you are so unhappy.
If you would rather do anything else then go to work (even the dentist appeals!).
If you honestly believe and can back up it up objectively that everyone else’s needs are being met ahead of your own.
If your health or home life is being negatively impacted long term by this job.
Then it’s time to move on. A fab salary and cushy commute are not worth staying in a job that’s killing you. Now, the best way to move is to have another job lined up and make a smooth, pain free transition… but realistically this isn’t always possible.
Think carefully about what you will do with yourself if you do decide to email over your resignation letter.
Will you survive financially for a bit? Have you got any savings? What’s going on in the industry at the moment? What connections do you have to help get that new job? You need to brainstorm and look at the bigger picture before doing anything rash and reactive.
And ask yourself… what will get worse if you stay?
Grab a pen and paper and let’s work out where you are and what’s getting worse in your life. Think about where you were 2 years ago, 1 year ago, and today and do a comparison of what has changed for the better and the worse and then decide if your job is the main reason why life is crap and getting crapper. If you can’t really remember, ask a friend, and ask them to remember for you. What do they think has changed for the better (and the worse) in the last year or two?
You may realise this job is never going to be good for you personally or professionally going forward. If this is the case, walk out of the door and take a big deep breath of relief.
Sometimes that might mean taking time off or taking ANY other job because until you have that distance its hard to think clearly about the future. In todays market having one or two jobs that are stepping stones on your CV are not career killers. As long as it isn’t a long term pattern its fine to take some time and coast for a while.
When you should stay:
Staying in a bad job can be both easier and harder then leaving. Some good questions to ask when deciding whether or not to stay are:
Did I ever feel excited about this job? If so – could I make any changes that would re-energise me?
Am I financially in such a tough place I can’t go without regular income?
Is there something I can learn here that would benefit my career long term that might justify staying?
Is this just a bad patch?
If you answer yes to any of the above then think about staying a little longer and creating a plan. A plan can make a terrible short-term situation suddenly bearable.
Get a plan and give yourself a deadline.
If money is the issue then start looking for new work straight away. Try and talk to someone new in your network and research the companies that excite and interest you.
If you are staying because there is something else to learn, build a timeline for that and stick to it. Your priority now is to shape and take small steps to improve your career path…however you define that.
Ultimately, the days are long but life is short! Don’t waste time doing something that isn’t fulfilling; direct your time and energy towards finding career happiness.
Feel like you still need more help? Get in touch to find out how career coaching can help you achieve career success.