When is the Right Time to Quit your Job?

Be honest with yourself: How many times during your career have you daydreamed about calling a companywide meeting, standing up in front of your colleagues, and recreating this iconic scene?

Jumping ship from your current job may seem like a tantalizing prospect, especially if you’re one of the millions of employees feeling burned out, disrespected, or stagnant at your place of employment.

Research indicates an overwhelming discontentedness among workers–a recent poll found just 13 percent of employees are engaged at their job. But happiness can also be cyclical, rising and falling in response to a recent promotion, a popular co-worker’s getting fired, a company party, a change to the office vacation policy, etc. It’s important to draw a distinction between these spikes in activity (positive or negative) and long-term malaises that cramp your working style over time.

If you’re spending at least 40 hours a week anywhere, it’s imperative that you be as content as possible during that time. And yet, for economic fears, family responsibilities, or a notion of loyalty to a company, Americans are settling for jobsthey either resent or are mismatched for completely.

There is nothing wrong, in principle, with believing the grass is greener on the other side. If you’ve found yourself in the wrong job time and time again, though, take a step back and realize that the one common thread to all those opportunities is y-o-u. Before you put in your next two weeks’ notice, give yourself the temporary job of figuring out what truly makes you the happiest.

Ask yourself: Am I being proactive in regards to my happiness?

How well employees feel that they fit in culturally at a company is a huge indicator of work satisfaction. Workers who rate their companies as having subpar culture are 15 percent more likely to be looking for a way out.

No matter how many benefits, random kudos, or break room Ping-Pong tables your job showers upon you, there’s no guarantee you’ll be all smiles when you show up for work in the morning. A good employer should give you every opportunity to be happy by listening to your concerns and fostering a positive culture, but your attitude is what will take your well-being across the finish line.

Also ask yourself this question: How often am I helping out my co-workers? Having a social support network at the office is crucial for happiness, but you’ll actually be your most positive and engaged if you go out of your way to give assistance to others. That doesn’t mean offering to do someone else’s job all the time, either. Simply extending an invitation to lunch or saying hi can give you a more positive outlook, make you 10 times more engaged, and, here’s the kicker, 40 percent more likely to get a promotion. Still thinking of leaving, even with a bump?

You may not like your job, but do you like your industry?

Sometimes, you find yourself mismatched in terms of your job’s specifications. So long as you’re passionate about health care, marketing, children’s toys, or whatever your field is, you can move around within it until you find the right duty to fulfill. If you view your job as mundane and don’t care if you advance to a higher level, then you’re probably in the wrong industry entirely.

Are you willing to lean into your impulse and make a drastic move toward your true passion? Do you even know what your true passion is? Moving up the ladder within the industry for which you went to business school might not make you happy if you haven’t been to this point.

Don’t forget the obvious: Check your bank account.

The quickest way to stop yourself from doing something potentially foolish is to look at the bottom line in your savings account. It’s almost never advisable to quit one job without having another one lined up, but if you’re at your breaking point, make sure you can survive for six months without a steady paycheck.

Chances are, you’re at least aware of what you’re drawn to in life, even if it scares you to think about it. Find out all you can about turning your passion into a career by talking to people who have done it before. Just don’t quit your current job before you soul search.

Workplace happiness is an issue that goes largely unspoken and is costing companies roughly half a trillion dollars a year. Working for the sake of work benefits no one, and there are certainly situations that warrant a change. Just make sure you’ve exhausted all avenues at your current position and determined whether you’re in the industry that you’re passionate about.

BY JEFF PRUITT    Chairman and CEO, Tallwave

 

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