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Should I Quit My Job? Ask Yourself These Six Questions First

Everyone has had THAT kind of day. That kind of workday so miserable, no amount of wine, exercise or TV-binge-watching can erase it. In my role as a recruiter I hear about these days all the time. In fact, sometimes I am the first call my candidates make when they need to vent about how bad that day is. “I am so done with this place!” they say. “I have really had it. I need to get out of here!” But, is quitting really the answer? Maybe, maybe not. Before you write that resignation letter, ask yourself these six questions.

1. Do I dread coming to work every day?

Lets face it, it’s called “work” for a reason and very often less-than enjoyable tasks are just part of the job. If you genuinely dread going to work, ask yourself, “Why?” Is it a very long commute that is taking a toll on your family time and expenses? Are you not being challenged mentally and professionally? Are your coworkers difficult? Is your manager constantly breathing down your neck? Or, does he or she ignore you and give you no direction or feedback? Are the stress levels and long hours making you physically sick? If so, these issues should not be ignored.

2. Do I feel supported at work?

The number one complaint I hear from unhappy employees is they don’t feel supported in some way. For some people, that means being able to come in early and leave early to offset a long commute or to be able to coach their kid’s soccer team. For others, it could mean coworkers who share information, work well as a “team” in the true sense of the word and readily help each other. Do you feel “heard” by your manager? Do you feel comfortable approaching that person with an issue or an idea? Is he or she truly listening to your input, or do your words consistently fall on deaf ears? The ability to be “heard” and to be supported are critical in any good relationship, professional or otherwise. If you don’t feel either, you might need to consider breaking up with your employer.

3. Are there opportunities for growth?

Promotion from within is a key way managers can retain their top employees. It is far easier to advance your career by moving up internally versus changing jobs. Have you explored open positions posted internally? Would any of them allow you to gain more experience or responsibility? Do you see other people in the company being promoted? A culture that supports growth and professional development is generally a healthy one. 

4. Am I being recognized for my efforts?

I am not suggesting you be praised daily for showing up for work, but did you finish a critical project ahead of schedule? Did you stay late last Friday to help a coworker in another department? Did you proactively identify and solve a problem that has been a constant headache? A good manager will not only notice these things, but also let you know he or she noticed them. Everyone welcomes being appreciated.

5. Am I bored?

The author Ellen Parr said, “The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” When is the last time you asked to do something slightly outside your scope of responsibilities? Are you interested in learning a new technology or new part of the business? Does your company offer paid training opportunities? Have you raised your hand to take on a new project? These things might just be the breath of fresh air you need to get re-energized about your current role.

6. Is my company stable?

It’s hard to quantify what “stable” even means anymore, but there are some key signs. Has your company had repeated layoffs? Has the company lost several big clients recently? Have there been several changes at senior levels within the company, and not for the better? These can be red flags and might indicate it’s time to brush off the resume. Whenever possible, it’s always better to search for a new job on your own terms than to be pushed out the door and be forced to accept whatever is available at the time. 

After you have had that glass of wine, gone for a good run and watched all seven seasons of Mad Men, take stock of your answers to these questions and determine if you’ve simply just had THAT day or if it’s really time to move on.

 

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