Should I Stay (at my job) or Should I Go
Given the uncertainty around COVID and the shifting pandemic lockdown measures, people are restless, not to get back to the office, but to quit their jobs altogether. The Great Resignation is upon us, with vacancies on the rise and the job market booming. Events over the past two years, have changed people’s lives, their outlook, and given them more time to reflect on what they really want to do.
So, should you stay, or should you go? When is it time to quit your job? You may know what you don’t want in your current job (your career progression/current boss/commute/money/work-schedule/work-life balance/something else), but what DO you want?
Here are a few questions to ask yourself, to help you determine whether it's time to move on.
Are you happy in your role most of the time, or has the workplace become toxic? Some telltale signs include a lack of work-life balance, a culture of unhealthy competition, and superiors who don’t value you as a full person. These conditions can be harmful to your physical and mental health.
Is there still room to grow? Can you see a solid career path to follow? Check to see if you can reinvent your role, and create new learning opportunities. Work with your manager to expand your role, by taking on new projects and additional responsibilities that can reinvigorate your work life.
Does your current company have the capacity to facilitate learning new things? If yes, and you are learning, it may be advisable to stay put, until you have learnt.
Have you achieved what you set out to achieve? Do you feel challenged or is every day dull and monotonous? Reflect on the goals you had, when you first started out on the job, to learn if you still have something left to aspire to.
Does your role no longer align with your values? If you find yourself doing and saying things in your professional life, that you wouldn’t do or say in your personal life, you may be compromising your values. This is a clear sign that it’s time to go.
Are you being paid fairly, for what you do and bring to the table? how does your compensation compare with the market average? Do you receive benefits at your company that work for you and your lifestyle?
Does the industry you work in, feel like a good fit? Or do you have transferable skills that could be used elsewhere?
Given that the workplace is where we all spend considerable time, it’s important to feel you have a purpose, and are valued. And, if you’ve said ‘yes’ to one or more of the above questions, then exploring new opportunities may be a smart move.
Sometimes people stay in roles longer than they should, either because they are comfortable or because the thought of switching does not appeal to them. Yes, if you are stimulated at work, then staying put makes sense. However, if you believe you can offer more elsewhere, then considering a move may be an idea, worth exploring. As Jack Welch once said, “No matter where you work, at some point you will have to endure difficult times, and even a deadly dull assignment, to survive a crisis or move up. But it makes little sense to stay and stay at a company because of inertia.”
And if you do decide to go, please don’t leave in a rage, don’t burn bridges, don’t slack off in the last few weeks, don’t trash talk your company, make your exit interview count, and always ask for a reference letter before leaving. And remember, you only need 3 things, when starting your search for your next opportunity – clarity, confidence and control.
Hopefully, you have found these pointers useful, particularly if you are wondering whether you should resign or stay on! Please share any other tips with us.
PS – Look out for my next article on “Why you should never consider a Counteroffer” coming soon!