Should You Quit Your Job?

We all have those moments at work when we think “this is bullshit, why am I putting up with this?! I am quitting, right now!” Am I right? Then you remember that you have a cat or two that needs food and too many toys, rent to pay and payments auto withdrawing from your checking account. Most times quitting your job isn’t an option without lining something else up first, but when is enough actually enough?

Is it when you are crying in the bathroom wondering why you took this stupid job anyway? Or maybe when you have to work late and miss the only happy hour you could make it to for the next 2 months? Both of those instances are not ideal, but does that mean you should find another job? Are you constantly faced with the feeling that there is just too much to do and instead of psyching yourself up, putting on your favorite jams and leaning in you find yourself wondering if this is the right place for me?

Considerations

Quitting is a hard decision to make.  Job hunting isn’t fun!  You probably already have insurance, decent pay and your boss isn’t that bad.  While those are viable reasons to keep on keeping on, they should not make you complacent in your decision.  If you are thinking about quitting but aren’t positive here are some things to think about. Below is a list of questions to consider if you starting to feel like maybe you would do better somewhere else. It is a long list, and it will make you think about your job in a few ways you haven’t before.

Sometimes the Grass is Greener

Take stock of your employee benefits, and look at everything as a package. As you are answering these questions, ask yourself what is in your control, and if you have the power to change them.  You don’t get what you don’t ask for.

What are your benefits like?

  • Is your compensation below, average or above the median for your experience and field?
  • How many vacation days you do have?
  • Do you get sick days?
  • Does your work allow flex-time or flexible/core hours?
  • Does your company contribute to your 401k?
  • Do you have a well put together healthcare package?

Think about your daily work…

  • Do you get feedback from your boss?
  • Are you happy with the work you are doing?
  • Is there room to grow?
  • Are you often overwhelmed by everything on your plate – to the point of anxiety?
  • Are the work goals set by upper management achievable?

Does the work environment suit your personality?

  • Do you like the people you have to interact with on a daily basis?
  • Do the different departments work well together?
  • Is the business overall trying to achieve the same goal?
  • Is the work environment hostile?
  • Do you feel comfortable and safe in your environment?

How does work affect your attitude at home?

  • Is the commute to and from work, worth it?
  • Do you find yourself complaining about work when you get home?
  • Do you dread Sunday nights?
  • Are you so preoccupied with work that you can’t relax when you are home?
  • Do your friends or family ask you why you are still working there?

Why did you start working there?

  • You had to find employment and this was the first place that offered?
  • You have admired the company for a long time and wanted to work there for years?
  • They sounded good on paper and you liked the people you interviewed with?

Digging for Answers

As you went through this list there was no doubt some questions that didn’t have great answers. Of the questions that need to be improved, have you taken any initiative to change it? For example, asking if you can do flex-time for doctors appointments or talking to your boss about future career options are within your power. Don’t make your mind up on throwing in the towel if you haven’t tried to make the best of your situation.

For example, I wouldn’t say that I am ready to look for new employment, but there are days where I am more overwhelmed than I would like to be by my responsibilities. I thought about what would make my life easier, and there were two things. A standing desk and the opportunity to work from home. I got the standing desk, and my boss is going to talk to HR about working from home two days a week. 

If you are finding yourself still on the fence about what to do, fear not.  Here are some work deal breakers in my book when it comes to vacation and sick time. Benefits (like vacation and sick days) are becoming bigger considerations for the younger generation, we want a work-life balance! Keep in mind some professionals in the millennial age group are starting off with 20 days of vacation and sick days to boot! Time off of work is important, it helps us recharge and take care of ourselves.  If you are dealing with any of these situations it is time to brush up that resume.

  • Vacation shaming – snide or rude comments about taking time off, being referred to as less dedicated than other co-workers. You should have a life and interests outside of work, the world is a big place.  Go explore it.
  • Not using all your vacation because you are too busy- even if all you are going to do all day is watch Netflix, take those days for yourself and your brain.
  • Being encouraged to work while sick – if you are truly sick, you should not be at work.  You should be at home resting.  Not only do you have the ability to make the rest of the office sick but it will take you longer to recover.

Other Considerations

There are many things that could be holding you back from finding other employment. Whether it is a family situation with healthcare or a location issue, sometimes it is just not the right time.  There are a few items that should never stop you from leaving a place when you feel like your time is up.

  • Feeling guilty – I get it, maybe you like some aspects of working for the company and feel bad for seeking out other opportunities. Or maybe your boss is great and you feel like you are letting them down.  Whatever the reason, let it go. If you were not the right fit for a job, a company wouldn’t think twice about replacing you. If you exit the right way, you are leaving an open door for the future.
  • Thinking you won’t find any other opportunities – While I do not condone job hopping, If you have worked somewhere for two years and it is not where you want to be, then it is time to figure something else out. There will never be any better opportunities if you don’t seek them out.
  • Being fully vested in retirement options – This is a pet peeve of mine, I hear people complain about their jobs but put off looking for other options until they are “fully vested.” It always makes me think well it must not be that bad.  Another company will probably make it worth your while, and if you cognizant of that during negotiations they might throw in a higher salary. If you are smart with your money, this thought shouldn’t even come in into play.
Side Note: Put away at least 10%, if you are letting your company match make up the difference you could be screwing yourself in the long run anyway.  You could be downsized or fired at any time, frankly, your retirement is your responsibility.

Final Thoughts

Maybe you are sure you want to find a new job, or thinking about staying – either way, you have some work to do. Ultimately you are responsible for your own career and financial success. If you are not happy with something in your life, you have the power to fix it. Don’t wait around for next year or a better time, there is no time like the present.

Unstick yourself and get out there.

Thanks for stopping by!

-C

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