Leaving a comfortable career is not a decision to be made in haste. Whether you’ve been with a company for a few months, or a few years, it’s essential that you take the time to make the right decision. Here are some good questions to ask yourself before you go and put in your two weeks.
Why do I want to leave? Any reason for wanting to leave your job is probably good enough to start exploring your options. There may be one big reason for leaving—hostile work environment, unbearable boss, you’re overworked and underpaid; or you may have a number of small reasons you want to leave—the work is boring, the commute. Consider whether the problem can be fixed, and if it can, if it’s worth it.
Why do I want to stay? One mistake many employees make is staying in a job for the wrong reason—for example, you like your coworkers. Of course you’ve made friends at the place you spend most of your time. However, save social hour for happy hour—don’t stunt your growth, and put a stop to that career path that was once on the fast track. Or perhaps you enjoy being comfortable—another bad reason to stay in a job if it’s ultimately going nowhere. Weigh the pros and cons of staying, and make sure the pros are worth it.
Can I improve my current situation? If you once loved your job, but something is stopping you from being completely happy, figure out if there are steps you can take to improve the conditions. Perhaps you are ready for more responsibility—talk to your boss. Perhaps you haven’t received a raise in two years—ask for a review. If you have a conflict with a coworker, can the issues be worked out? If you’ve found your dream job, but things aren’t going exactly how you want—try to change them, before deciding to make a run for the hills.
Can I grow with my current job? Sometimes sticking it out with a job is worth it if there are opportunities to move within the company. Explore options internally; see if there is another position of interest to you. Or perhaps your boss is going on leave, and you will have the chance to step into his or her role and really shine. A big part of being at the right job is knowing where you can go next, even if you aren’t completely happy where you are now. Maybe your job can simply be considered a stepping-stone to get to where you really want to be.
What will I do after I resign? You obviously need some sort of plan in place before you quit your job. As tempting as it is to throw your work in the air and shout, "I’m out!" some days, this isn’t a productive approach. Know what you will do once you walk out the door. Do you have another job lined up, or do you plan to take a break from the nine-to-five and travel? Do you have a start-up idea in mind, or will you go back to school? Whatever you decide, make sure that you are financially capable, and ready to be as productive as possible. Have goals and know the steps you need to take to achieve them.
Is it just a bad day? Ok, so you got to work late, spilled coffee on your new sweater, got the cold shoulder from a colleague, bombed your presentation, and then got scolded by your boss about all your shortcomings. Not a good day. While you daydream about storming out the door Jerry Maguire-style, ask yourself this: will tomorrow be better? If you’re finding that you come home disgruntled, upset, or frustrated pretty regularly, it might be time to move on.
What is my gut saying? This is an important one. Sometimes, something inside you is just telling you it’s time to leave your job. Whether it’s one specific thing, or an accumulation of things, if your instincts are urging you to jump ship, there is a good chance that is the right move. Take the cue from your intuition, but make sure you are prepared for the outcome.
Leaving a job and changing your current situation can be a tough decision, or can be a really easy one depending on the circumstances. Just make sure you are ready for just about anything—what if you quit, and your company counter offers? Or, what if you give your two weeks, and they ask you to leave now? Be confident in your choice to move on, and know that with hard work and determination, bigger and better things are on the horizon.
Want to love Mondays? It’s possible when you love what you do. Paradigm is a San Diego staffing agency dedicated to finding the perfect job for candidates like you. We’re connected with some of the most innovative tech companies around, giving our employees that competitive edge needed in today’s job market. We hope to hear from you today, and let's make your career goals happen.