The New Year is a great time to reflect and take stock of where you are in your career. Is your work satisfying? Or do you feel ready for a change? Are things not working out the way you had hoped? Qutting your job, in favour of finding something more suitable takes courage and honesty with one’s self.
I have quit three important jobs in my career. The first when I was in my ealy 20s, with a tyrant for a boss, and little “on-the-job” experience, but I knew enough to realize the situation wasn’t right.
I quit and went to Cuba for a week. Best decision I could have made at the time.
The second and third times were similar. But in those cases, I recognized to take action earlier instead of hoping that things would get better. Recognizing that some situations are not “fixable” is a learned skill that comes with experience.
In my earlier years, I had quit several odd jobs I had (summer camp counsellor, working in retail, working as a waitress), when I sensed that the fit wasn’t right for me. But it was never easy. Somehow, quitting always seemed like an admission of imcompetence. It’s only as you grow older that you realize quitting, or looking to initiate change, can be strategic. Most of the time, you can do better.
So, from my experience, there are some golden reasons why quitting a job is a good decision.
While we cannot lose sight of the fact that most of “work to live” (and not the other way around), here are some guidelines for when making a job switch makes sense. And not just paid work, sometimes we are also caught in difficult volunteer roles too!
1- Cultural fit: sometimes, you are just not a right fit for the organizational culture. You might feel conflicted with the organizational values and mission. Within a couple of months on a new job, your fit within the larger organization should be obvious to you. If you are uncomfortable with your work environment, admit this to yourself, and take action.
2- Limited growth opportunity: if you’re ambitious, then you need to position yourself in an organization that will encourage your professional development and career growth. An organization that values internal promotion of employees is important. My husband has been with the same company for more than ten years, but in 5 different positions, now promoted to a director within the organization. He would have left the company long ago if internal promotion was not an option.
3- Lousy boss: I love the expression “it is what it is”. Sometimes, there is not much that can be done. While we pray that this person gets magically swept away to another department, it usually does nto work out this way. The choice is yours…deal with it, or move on. It really depends on how much you like the other parts of your job.
5- Work life balance: Quitting a job because the work hours are inflexible, or the commute is too long, is actually quite reasonable. I used to work an hour away from my home, and it caused a great deal of stress. It was 2 hours a day I spent in my car, stuck in traffic, away from my young son (I only had one at the time!). Once I changed jobs, everything became a bit simpler. And I was happier to be spending this time with my son!