Active job markets often get people thinking about new opportunities. When jobs are plentiful, we imagine ourselves in greener pastures with better pay and more perks. We begin asking ourselves, “Should I quit my job?”
There definitely are times when we need to move on from positions. It is prudent to polish up your résumé if the company you work for is financially shaky or your boss is verbally abusive. However, if you are just making change for change’s sake, it may be wise to consider what is driving the impulse.
The following five questions can help you discover if you truly do need to move on or if it is possible to rekindle your passion for the job you have.
Are you stagnating?
Jobs change and morph over time. We can find ourselves doing work that is far different than what we were hired to do, or we may be bored from lack of variety or challenge. Morale plummets when we don’t use the skills that make us feel strong and satisfied or when we are not given opportunities to learn and grow. Before jumping ship, let your boss know that you want to be challenged in your current role or explore the possibility of a transfer or promotion. If nothing comes of this effort, you have a solid reason to consider moving on to a better opportunity.
Do you respect leadership and do you feel valued at work?
Most people leave their jobs because of a negative relationship with their direct supervisor or an overall toxic leadership style. If you don’t currently feel seen, heard and appreciated by your boss, you probably never will. Before you cut ties, consider getting some coaching to ensure you don’t end up in a similar situation.
Is recent organizational change fueling your desire to leave?
We can become stressed and discontent because of changes in company leadership or in the way business gets done. Some people handle change better than others but these are generally tough situations. Avoid jumping on the negative bandwagon and give yourself time to adjust. What if the changes turn out to be positive? It could happen!
Are you happy outside of work?
When we feel dissatisfied with our lives, it is easy to blame our jobs. Sometimes the best way to feel happier at work is to take up a hobby, start an exercise program or deepen connections with friends and family. Enriching your life outside of work may lead you to feel better about your current position. It will also improve your mental outlook should you decide to begin a job search.
Do you know what you want?
Make a list of what you really like about your current position and what you find intolerable. Next, list what you want to gain by making a change. This can include new skills, enlightened leadership, better pay or an increase in responsibility. The clearer you are about what it is you want and need, the more likely it is that you will find it.
Asking for what we want and need in order to be happy takes courage, but so does giving notice! We can improve our current situations. Sometimes we need a fresh start. Keep in mind that those greener pastures are sure to be filled with manure. Your best bet may be learning to love the job you have.
Carrie Pinsky is a freelance writer, job-search coach and training specialist. Reach her at Pink Sky Counseling and Career Services, 970-225-0772 or www.pink-sky.net.