Is it Time To Change Jobs?
In my executive coaching practice, occasionally this important question arises: How do I know if or when it’s time to change jobs, or perhaps do something else with my life?
One thing is certain: most of us would like to be engaged in doing meaningful work, in a place we feel we belong, feel valued, and where we believe we are part of something greater than ourselves.
If you find yourself saying things like these often, then it probably is time to give the question serious thought: “Is this all there is?” “I feel trapped, stuck, a victim to the golden handcuffs.” “Loyalty is killing me.” “I have a family to support, but I’m miserable at work and have been for a long time.” “Is it me or is my continual discomfort a sign that something really is wrong with staying in this job or wrong with me?”
First trust your instincts and yourself. You probably know the answer in your gut! If you are unhappy in your work there really are two paths: 1) fix it where you are 2) leave. Remember, you can often negotiate changes in your job, perhaps where and what you do and to whom you report. You also know that there aren’t many perfect jobs out there, so you surely don’t want to move from one unsatisfactory situation into another. Everything in life involves choices and choices often involve some risk. How much risk and your risk tolerance are all factors to consider.
One of the best ways to build resilience in your self is to reach out to others. Many folks have trouble asking for help – and I’m here to say, get over it! Ask people you trust for their perspectives, opinions, and to help you think all this through. This could and should, if you have them, include objective coaches and mentors. It’s important to really take your time making the right decision for the right reasons for YOU.
Then, as you are thinking through your particular situation, pay attention to these 10 RED FLAGS. If one or more of these is true for you, then it’s time for something to change either within yourself, within your job, or both.
- leaving this job feels less traumatic and less of a sacrifice than staying.
- you don’t feel like you “fit” anymore – the culture, your boss, the team.
- all you do is complain about your job; it simply isn’t fun – rewarding – interesting – joyful for you
- your job makes you sick – emotionally and/or physically.
- you feel out of control of your career’s trajectory.
- you’ve been passed over, and over, and over.
- your passion is no where to be found at work.
- your work and life integration is not at all fun for you and there is no end in sight.
- being “safe” is less appealing than being “free.”
- the idea of going to work makes you wish you could tell your Mom you have a stomach ache and stay home.
None of these are, by themselves, THE reason to hand in your resignation, slam the door, or hang up your hat tomorrow!
It’s really important to ALSO pay attention to these 10 Core Questions and Actions:
- What are the ROOT causes of your discomfort?
- What is YOUR a preferred future?
- What is getting in the way of that future?
- What part you have played in where you are today and in creating your own blocks?
- What you are and are NOT willing to say, do, and be to change the situation?
- What do you have to do to “grow” your skills, knowledge, experience?
- What are your core values and beliefs? Do they align with where you work or not? If not, why not?
- Do nothing hasty unless you have no other choice – and that should be a LAST resort.
- Have a new job before leaving the old one if at all possible and/or unless the severance check is superb.
- Consider finding an excellent internal or external coach.
Doing what you love with people you respect and enjoy will make you a happier, more engaged, and more productive, no matter what role or position you choose. At the end of the day, when you’ve looked at the Red Flags, identified what’s really bothering you, and some strategies…be true to yourself, your values, and what matters most in your life. When you do those things, you will make better decisions about your job and your future.
Thinking about your next career move?
Leadership expert Roxi Bahar Hewertson brings over three decades of practical experience in the worlds of higher education, business, and non-profits. She is an organizational consultant, executive coach, motivational speaker, and author of the acclaimed book, “Lead Like it Matters...Because it Does" leaders with a step-by-step roadmap and practical tools to achieve great results and the creator of the award winning course, “Leading with Impact: Your Ripple Effect. She is the President and CEO of Highland Consulting Group, Inc. and AskRoxi.com. She can be reached at roxi@HighlandConsultingGroupInc.com
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