Friday, August 21, 2009

Quit or Not to Quit?

How often have we all dreamed of quitting our jobs? There have been days we've had to bite our tongues, engage in a primal scream in our car on the way home, and envision winning the lottery and never having to go back to "that place" again. Most of us recover in a few minutes, hours, or days from these things that upset us; however, how do you know when the four letter word "W-O-R-K", really should be another four letter word "Q-U-I-T"?

3 Reasons to Walk Away

Here are probably the top three reasons to walk away. You may want to run if you find all three of these are present.

1) When your ethical boundaries are being crossed. If your client or boss is asking you to push the envelope and transgress on ethics, such as the PRSA code of ethics, it’s time to walk away. No need to be the martyr about it – just time to walk away.

2) When you are so stressed from the work situation that your spouse/partner/family comments on it regularly, and urges you to take the weekend off. If you are working truly 24×7, particularly if you are working for someone else, you’re making a bunch of executives rich but you’re making yourself and your life quality-poor. There's crying over spilt milk, but more than a couple good cries over your job and it's time to find something else.

3) When your sleep patterns are a complete mess. If the environment is so toxic that you are so tense over something a client or executive had to say and you spend nights tossing and turning -- then stagger into work completely tired, it's time.

5 Reasons to Stay Put

On the flip side, although there are signs of recovery, is now really the time to quit your job? Can you network and look for a new job while you continue working at your current place of employment? These are all questions that need serious consideration and here's 5 solid reasons not to quit your job.

1. It’s a means to an end.

A job is a way to make a living but it’s also often a means to an end. Sometimes you have to pay your dues for a while before moving on to a different position, one which you will like more. Think about this before you quit.

2. It pays well and you need to save up money.

I am all for finding a job you love and are passionate about but, there is nothing wrong with being practical and realizing that you might need to stick it out at a place you hate because you’re saving up.

3. Other things in your life are in flux.

If you have a lot going on outside of work, it might be a bad time to quit and look for something new.

4. You’re not prepared to look for another great job.

Finding a job takes energy and time. If you don’t have enough of either and you can’t realistically make time or find energy, then it’s not a good time to look for work. Don’t quit a job you hate to JUST make a change. You need to work hard to find a new job you like better and you should make sure that you have physical and mental energy to do it.

5. You don’t really hate the job.

Before you quit a job you hate you have to make sure that you hate it and get very specific about what you hate about it. Do you hate what you do? If yes, is there a way to change what you do, by say, moving to a different role or a different department? Do you hate your boss? If yes, how long-term is this? (E.g. What are the chances your boss will move on, be fired or promoted?) Do you hate who you work with? Colleagues can get annoying and a poisonous work environment is bad for you, but is there anything you can do, like working with a different team or talking to HR about moving departments? Make sure that what you hate is something that can’t change before you quit.


Dr. John said...

very interesting. There are many times I should have walked. But - given that we all have access to the same resources (more or less) and the same information (damn that internet) how else can we cuild a company that survives, that pays our keep, unless we grit our teeth, hold on and out-work the competition? It strikes me that today's choice is between working oneself to death or welfare. There is and can be no middle way.

Hiten Sethaliya said...

Very nice blog. I surely recommend every employee read this.

With Regards,

Michael Strickland said...

This was useful and informative; thanks for sharing it. (I found it via your LinkedIn group posting.)