Should you quit your job or stick it out?
Career ruts are nothing unusual. Even people in the most satisfying of jobs occasionally feel demotivated, tired or like they want something more.
It could be that you’ve got a big project you can’t see the end, a regular customer you don’t enjoy dealing with, or maybe you’re tired and it’s affecting your work life. From social anxiety to pushing ourselves too hard or trying to attain perfection, there’s plenty that makes our work life difficult.
So it’s no surprise that women think about quitting their jobs on average 17 times a year, according to research on behalf of the Association of Accounting Technicians. That’s more than once a month that we question ourselves about our current position, and think about leaving.
But how do you know when you’re just going through a phase at your job, and how do you know when it’s really time to move on?
There are plenty of steps you can take to make sure quitting is really the right step. Read on for some expert advice.
Figure out what’s making you unhappy
It sounds obvious, but if you’re feeling unhappy at work, the first thing to do is try and work out what is causing that feeling.
New York Times bestselling author and happiness guru Gretchen Rubin advises going through every single aspect of your job until you hit on what is making you unfulfilled.
That will enable you to work out whether it’s something with your current job that can be fixed, such as changing your hours or asking for more training.
If it can’t be fixed and is making you unhappy, then maybe a change of job is what you need.
Look at the route of progression in your company
It’s an age-old interview question, but ‘where do you see yourself five years from now’ can prove useful if you’re working out whether to quit your job or not.
Take a look at the people in roles above yours and ask yourself if their jobs are something you’d like to do. If it’s appealing to you, then staying where you are and working out how to progress is the thing to do.
But if you’re looking at your manager, or their manager, and thinking there’s nothing you’d rather do less than their jobs, then it’s time to figure out what you do want to do in the future.
Work out if the corporate grind is for you
We’ve all got a dream job, but have you ever thought about turning that dream job into a reality?
For some people, the 9-5 day is perfect, but if you’re finding that you’re itching to leave work and get stuck into your passion project at the end of each day, it could be time to look at how feasible it is to make your hobby or your side hustle your main hustle.
From the desire to move to a new country to a life-changing event that prompts you to rethink whether a traditional job is for you, there are plenty of people who have taken the plunge and switched up careers.
Yes, it might be a little scary, but if it’s going to make you happy, it’ll be worth it.
Acknowledge it if things aren’t going to get better
The optimists among us know that looking for the positives can help turn a situation around.
But what if your optimism is actually just a convenient excuse, or plain denial?
“We often have this attitude that bad times have to get better,” says Dr Rachel Lewis, associate professor in occupational psychology at Kingston University. “We tell ourselves, ‘Oh I just have to get through this project’, or ‘Once the office move is done we’ll be OK’. We cling onto the idea that it will change, but if we are constantly saying this, then there’s a problem.”
If you’re finding that you’re always expecting things to get better after the next hurdle, then perhaps it’s time to face facts, and move to doing something where you’re not always setting mile markers.
Whether you decide to quit your job or not, there’s plenty of advice out there on how to make the best move for your career.
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