At some point, everyone has a bad day at work. Maybe it’s been a long buildup or just an unexpected meltdown. You might be tempted to quit in that moment, but never leave a job on a whim. Instead, clear your head and ask yourself these 6 questions before you leave your job.
1.) Does the office atmosphere bring out your best work? Your physical workspace matters. Some people thrive in a vibrant open office while others achieve their best work in a separate space for quiet introspection. There’s no universal layout that accommodates everyone. Instead, you need to find a new job with an atmosphere that fits your own productivity requirements and temperament.
2.) Are your best skills well-used or rusty? Positions evolve over time. Responsibilities and projects are added and taken away as the market changes. Sometimes, the challenges you love are eliminated along with it. If your new challenges are misaligned with your best skills and your passion, consider taking your true talents elsewhere.
3.) Are there opportunities to grow through promotions or education? There’s more than one way to grow on the job. If you don’t need to be promoted, then you should at least be adding new skills to your repertoire. Otherwise, you’re just in a state of professional inertia. It’s time you hit the ignition and break free.
4.) Is the end nearing? It’s easy to see when a business is waning. Bad financial returns, failed projects, increased layoffs, or a diminishing market should tell you that something is up. In that moment, you need to make a decision whether finding a new job is best for you.
5.) Do you feel empowered by your boss and coworkers? The situation in your office doesn’t need to be hostile to be a bad fit. A good position should offer you the resources needed to achieve your best work. That’s both on a technical and instructional level. Otherwise, even your best efforts tend to slam up against a brick wall.
6.) Do you feel busy or overworked? There’s a big difference between the two. Busy employees are occupied, but have time to plan for the future. Overworked employees are reactionary and are only ever on “fire extinguisher” duties. Recognize the difference between the two and be ready to leave your job if you start to feel the strictures of the latter.
Before You Decide to Leave Your Job
Know that there’s no universal sign that you need to leave your job. None of these measurements alone are infallible indicators, but a mixture of several issues at once at least merits a second look at your current role.
If all of these problems become too much, start your search as soon as possible. Otherwise, your morale can deteriorate fast and your performance at work can seriously suffer. There’s no need to burn any bridges.
by James Walsh