Some Concepts for Evaluating Your Dilemma
Many jobs were shed during the last recession and many employees considered changing jobs but could not do so because they feared they would be unemployed for a long time. Now, a decade later, the labor market has improved significantly; the old working conditions have not improved, but have often deteriorated. How do you judge whether this is a good time to quit or to stay? The following questions guide your thinking.
Do you have autonomy from your boss?
You really like your job and are good at it. You get compliments and your colleagues are personable. They look forward to going to work in the morning. But there is a problem in your relationship with your boss. He’s constantly breathing down your neck, controlling everything you do and giving you negative feedback. How much longer can you hold out?
How long have you been with this job?
Depending on how long you’ve been in that job, you need to wonder if this is not the time to get a bigger job, a higher-paid promotion, and clearly career growth. Traditional jobs tend to increase the cost of living for employees, but this is usually minimal. In order to make a significant leap in compensation, you have to change companies. The time window is between 3 and 5 years. More than 5 years in the same job is essentially like cruising. Ask yourself if this is the right time to take a risk for the right reward.
Are your long-term goals within your current company within reach?
When personal goals are reconciled with those of the company, people appear satisfied and productive. Ask yourself if your skills align with the future of your company. Have an open conversation with your boss and read her opinion. Maybe it’s time to learn new skills? Or jump ship.
Has it been a year since you started working?
If people are not satisfied with their job, it is very likely that they will leave after a year. Others leave on their second anniversary and still others on their third anniversary. If they haven’t left by then, their term in office will most likely be long. Anniversaries are milestones and this is a time when people take stock and make future job decisions.
Are you in control of your job or is it the other way around?
When people feel very fulfilled in their work, they perform at their best and always give one hundred percent. However, this is conditional if you feel fully under control. When they feel manipulated by a boss or team member, their satisfaction levels decrease and people wonder how much longer they should stay. Demanding jobs without autonomy lead to burnout. Authority and responsibility should be in balance. If not, one should consider leaving.
Is your job boring?
People want a job that makes sense and has a purpose. The researchers found that having a job with a purpose is more motivating than money. But some jobs become routine and frankly boring. If this condition lasts too long, it’s time to consider a change.
Do you use your skills and feel like you are learning?
You may be stuck in a position where you have no chance to use your skills – those skills that you enjoy using and that you are good at. Or worse, you feel like your job is repeating itself and you are not learning anything new. Ask yourself if there is a way out and have a good conversation with your manager. If this seems fruitless, it is time to stop.
These are just a few questions to ask yourself about your current job. This list is clearly not exhaustive. My advice is that you don’t keep these topics to yourself, but rather discuss them with people you trust or career coaches who can give you advice and mentor you.