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Chronicle

Fix not Flit - Why you might just need to fix your job rather than quit and run

Posted: 29 April 2015

The grass is always greener on the other side, you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone, there's no such thing as perfect - all very cheesy but very spot on sayings that can help put your career qualms in perspective. Every now and again we all take issue with our job, we might even really hate it. There might even be more than one occasion where you've considered packing it all in and trying your luck somewhere else. And why not, sometimes your job gripes can be valid and quitting may well be your best plan. Before we jump on that bandwagon, let's flip this thing around.

When times are hard and issues are resting heavy, it’s all too easy to look at those ‘Reasons to quit your job’ lists and find yourself nodding profusely. But where are the ‘Reasons to stay at your job’ lists? More often than not, our reasons for wanting to quit a job are not what they seem. There will always be things you’re not keen on at work but are they really reasons to leave? Perhaps a few small changes and deep thinking could put those in perspective and spark some real changes? Before you act on your quitting impulse let’s put your current job and issues under the microscope and see if it’s possible to make your job work for you again.

The Stay Put Signs & Quiz It Questions.

If you’re on the brink and really considering the big quit, you need to ask yourself some pretty serious questions about the ‘Why’. It would suck royally if you quit and dived into a mucky career pool only to realise the problem was with you not your job. There’s warning signs and perspective checkpoints a plenty below.

  • What are you really frustrated by?

Is it the pay, the people of the lack of possibilities? Too many people equate their issues with their industry or managers with their actual job, and that’s a problem. Perhaps you’re stuck in an unprogressive company that doesn’t value you? If that’s the case then quitting could be the right move. But maybe you’re just bogged down by the people and politics? If that’s more in-tune with you, then there’s things you can change to separate your job from the surrounding issues that taint it. The first to-do is talk. Talk to your bosses, co-workers and friends, instead of ranting form a list of productive questions and rooted issues. And have a talk with yourself. Maybe you’re somewhat of an office negativity ringleader, see what changes you can make also.

  • Move mindsets.

Negativity can be a happiness killer. If you’re embroiled in office gossip or trapped in a cycle of venting and moaning, this can make a real dent in your fulfillment. You begin to associate your job with those negative aspects. The truth is you need to change your mindset and perspective, not your job. Chances are you’re stuck in a rut and work your way through the motions and routines you always have - work, vent, work, gossip, work, moan, go home, complain. If you do this everyday it’s no wonder you want to leave! Be the change you want to see, talk positively about your job, ditch water cooler chats and get involved in the company culture in a fun, infectious way. Being positive won’t save all your job woes from creeping up but it will put them in sharp perspective and enforce some career-saving changes. Little things like brightening up your workspace/environment with plants or bringing in happy things from home into the office can have a massive impact on your productivity and happiness levels. There’s no need to get dramatic and get too ‘all or nothing’, improve the everyday and those days add up to a pretty big change.

  • List the positives.

If you’ve been in a position for a while it can be tough to remember what you love about it. No job is perfect but each one has something unique and personal to you that keeps you there and happy. What are your positives? Don’t take for granted that these are small or insignificant, you could move onto a new company that sees no values in these small perks so really take time to assess what truly matters to you and weigh your current job against that. You might fair better than you thought…

  • Do you have a plan?

If you don’t think about what you want both short and long-term how can you assess your reasons to stay or go? Too many employees land in a job and expect it to answer their career needs without any personal investment or planning. Have a career plan and an outline of what you want to achieve in your current role and for your current employer. Check in with this plan and take actionable steps towards making sure you’re on course. If an opportunity hasn’t arisen or you’re not liking the look of the landscape, talk to a manager or boss. A brief chat could be the answer to your issue. Your co-workers and managers can surprise you if you’re open and honest. If the chances to advance aren’t in place where you are, maybe it is time to leave but don’t go without simply asking.

  • Do you just need a break?

Nine times out of ten a good holiday can do the trick. Time away to gain some perspective and enjoy your life can relieve some of the pressure. Take your vacation days and don’t bring a stitch of work along for the ride. If you’re seriously thinking about quitting, take a couple of days off to stew it over. Burnout is the most common cause of career/job quitting so be sure to keep that at bay.

  • Have a life outside of work.

We can all blame our employers or company culture for lack of work-life balance but a lot of the time the buck rests with you. Do you have others things going on it your life that make you passionate and driven? If you’re expecting your job to tick all of your creative and happiness goals, you’ll be disappointed. The old ‘work to live, don’t live to work’ runs true here folks. Whether it’s volunteering or hobbies, make sure you don’t rely on your job too much to validate your value or fulfillment.

The truth of the matter is that if your job sucks it could be your doing. It really is a case of you get out what you put in and if you’ve been poisoning your happiness with negative routines and lifestyle laziness, you need to have a word with yourself. If you’re in your career for the long haul you need to invest in some self-care and coping mechanisms. No job will ever be perfect so you have to learn how to assess your issues and adapt your behaviours and mindsets. Of course there will be times when quitting is hands down the right thing to do but you might just need what we all need from time to time - a break and a little perspective.

Do you like this stuff? Then join over 21,000 other awesome people who get tips on improving their employer brand, recruitment, marketing and the odd spot of career advice delivered directly to their inbox from me!

Twitter snippets.

  • (Click to tweet) Our reasons for wanting to quit a job are not always what they seem.
  • (Click to tweet) People equate their issues with their industry/ managers with their actual job.
  • (Click to tweet) No job is perfect but each one has something unique that keeps you there and happy.
  • (Click to tweet) Your co-workers and managers can surprise you if you’re open and honest.
  • (Click to tweet) If you’re expecting your job to tick all of your creative goals, you’ll be disappointed.