Are you thinking about leaving your job?

During the pandemic, many people stayed hunkered down in their jobs for security. As we begin to leave the pandemic and head back to a new normal, however, professionals are quitting their jobs in record numbers. If you are considering leaving your job, have you thought about exactly why you want to leave? Do you have another job lined up or are you just done, burned out, and do you need time to recover without any new employment lined up?

Studies have shown that the longer that you are out of work or unemployed, the harder it can be to get hired.  Keep this in mind as you think about what to do. Do not just quit without a plan. If you’re ready to quit your job, make sure to have another job secured or lined up to keep yourself employed.

I would like you to consider three questions before you quit your job.

Did you want to leave your position before the pandemic setting?

It is important to look at how you see your future and where you want to be. Before the pandemic, were you happy or unhappy with your current job? As you explore the reasons why you want to leave, make sure to go below the surface and really see exactly why you want to leave. Your reason may be that you are underpaid, that there is a lack of advancement potential, that you are working for an unpleasant manager, that you have a difficult commute, or that you are working in a toxic environment, to name a few.

Take some time to journal about the reasons that you want to leave. Give it more than one sentence or a couple of words; really try to write a good paragraph or two about each area. Now once you have the negative reasons that are pushing you out the door, I want you to focus on what you do like about your work. The reasons could be your easy commute, your colleagues, the variety of tasks, the work/life balance, or many other areas. Make sure you write at least a paragraph about each of your likes so you get a good understanding of what you enjoy within your work.

With these two lists completed, you can now compare and see if one outweighs the other and more importantly what parts of your job you want to carry forward into your new job or that will be required in your new job.

Is it possible to stay at the company?

Now that you have your lists to evaluate your situation, it is easier to talk with your manager and see if certain aspects can be corrected to make staying in your job a more pleasant experience. By having open communication with your manager, you might find that they’re willing to make some adjustments to your job, your schedule, or your unfulfilled professional desires. If your manager is one of the reasons for being unhappy in your current job, is there a way to transfer to another department and do the work that you enjoy?

If there are minor tweaks that cannot be made at work to keep you somewhat satisfied, there may be things that you can do at home to grow yourself and your identity outside of your work role work. This may give you some satisfaction, motivation, and accomplishment as you try new things outside your workplace.

What is your vision?

It is important to think about what you consider to be your top values and work environment. Make some time to journal about these so you have a good idea of the key things that you are looking for in the next company or work setting. Once you have an idea of what you want, you can begin to search out what companies might fit your values and wants. You can do this by researching companies and expanding your network connections through LinkedIn to gain good information and potential landing spots for your next job. Take time to reach out to professionals in other companies that you want to learn about and connect with them so that you build a relationship. It is important to make sure that this is a two-way street, where both of you will benefit from the interaction.

These are just three initial questions that you should ask when you are thinking about quitting or leaving your current job. It is important not to just jump before you have a strategy and have done some reflection on your current situation. Make sure to take time to think about your future vision of what you want and need, along with who you are and what you bring to the table. This way you have a better idea of what companies and professionals to connect with and learn from. Tune in next week for three more questions that you must consider as you think about quitting your current job.