20th January 2017 |
Charlotte Brown: Stay or go?

Our newest Guest blogger Charlotte Brown shares her insights and thoughts on how to navigate and establish a healthy and successful work/life balance.

This is part 1 out of 12.

Stay or go? How to decide if it’s time for a new job…or not.

We’ve all been there, slumped over our desks, checking the clock (and whatsapp) hoping time will somehow speed up.

Your latest project is boring.
You hate your clients.
The hours are loooong.
This. Job. Is. Rubbish.

So you think to yourself, “Argh, if I’m this unhappy, I should just hand my notice in.” But then your mind starts whirring in a familiar pattern: “Should I leave? No! I can’t because the salary/commute/colleagues are great. I have to stay.”

Yep, you end up stuck.

In these situations it can sometimes help to have a little outside support to become clearer on if and when you should leave your job soo… hi!

When you should leave:

Okay, first off, there is no one size fits all answer to this decision but there are a few clues that you shouldn’t disregard:

– If you are in danger of burning serious bridges with people because you are so unhappy…
– If you would rather do anything else then go to work (even the dentist appeals)…
– If you honestly believe everyone else’s needs are being met ahead of your own…
– If your health or home life is very negatively impacted by this job…

Then it’s time to move on. The good salary and easy commute I mentioned earlier are not worth staying in a job that’s killing you.  Now, the best way to move is to have another job lined up and make a seamless transition… but realistically this isn’t always possible. Think carefully about what you will do with yourself if you do decide to email over your resignation letter. Will you survive financially for a bit? Have you got any savings? What’s going on in the industry at the moment? What connections do you have to help get that new job?

And ask yourself… what will get worse if you stay?

Quick exercise:
Grab a pen and paper and let’s work out where you are and what’s getting worse in your life. Think about where you were 2 years ago, 1 year ago, and today and do a comparison of what has changed for the better and the worse and then decide if your job is destroying you. If you can’t really remember, have an honest conversation with a friend, and ask them to remember for you.  What do they think has changed for the better (and the worse) in the last year or two?

You may realise this job is really doing you in. If this is the case, walk out of the door and into something... anything else.

Sometimes that might mean taking time off or taking ANY other job because until you have that distance its hard to think clearly about the future. In todays market having one or two jobs that are stepping-stones on your CV are fine. As long as it isn’t a pattern, you can get away with it.

When you should stay
Staying in a bad job can be both easier and harder then leaving. Some good questions to ask when deciding whether or not to stay are:

Did I ever feel excited about this job? If so – could I make any changes that would re-energise me?

Am I financially in such a tough place I can’t go without regular income?

Is there something I can learn here that would benefit my career long term that might justify staying?

Is this just a bad patch?

If you answer yes to any of the above then think about staying a little longer and creating a plan. A plan can make a terrible short-term situation suddenly bearable.

Get a plan and give yourself a deadline.
If money is the issue then start looking for new work straight away. Try and talk to someone new and research new companies every week.

If you are staying because there is something else to learn, get clear on your timeline for that.  Your priority now is to carve out some real time to make your career better…however you define that. Ultimately, the days are long but life is short! Don’t waste time doing something that isn’t fulfilling; direct your time and energy towards finding career happiness.

Until next month…


Feel like you still need more help? Get in touch to find out how career coaching can help you achieve career and life success and balance:

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