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Is it really time to quit your job? How to tell the boredom from the best plan

Posted: 28 October 2015

Bad days are just part of working life. Sorry, but it's just the way it goes. No one has it perfect and even the most fulfilled professionals find themselves asking if there's something better out there. That doesn't mean that you should accept where you are and deny where you want to be. One of the toughest career decisions anyone can make is whether today is really the best day to hand in that notice and change direction. The cold, hard truth of the matter is that you’re the only one that knows that answer.

There’s rarely a Eureka! moment. The only real way to make this decision is over time and with all the facts and a healthy dose of reality. By all means dream big but do it responsibly. Luckily there is key questions and meaningful musings that can help you make that move and feel happy about it. So before you quit, crash and burn, take some time to tune into those necessary niggles and ask yourself some pretty important questions.

The Five to Deliberate - The big questions to answer before you quit.

It might sound very unromantic but life decisions are rarely made/sustained on a whim. Yes there’s a lot to be said for going with your gut and trusting your instincts but your guts won’t pay the bills! More than that, your desire to fly rather than fight can be more about your personal insecurities than your ability to do or enjoy your job. Take some time and search both your soul and common sense.

  • What exactly is making you want to quit?

Poor pay? Annoying co-workers? Lack of opportunities? Or just plain boredom? Some of these things you may be able to change by simply taking to your boss, others may be more complex and self-facing. The point is you can’t make a decision about what to do until you know why. Be honest and unbiased, never make a split decision based on one day’s events. Assess how often, and under what circumstances, these negative niggles arise. You might spot a pattern…

  • Do you have a plan?

If you know you’re not happy or on the right path, there’s a pretty good chance you know what you do want. Don’t take a gamble based on an emotion, have a plan about what you’d do if you did leave. We’re not just talking a short-term survival plan, think long-term. What career steps would you take? How can you sniff out those connections or path?

  • Do you have enough money in your emergency fund?

It’s simple and sensible. It’s unlikely you’ll leave your current job and stumble into a great one moments later.  Be specific in the cash you have and how far it can take you. Living in denial or a dreamland with cost you so much more than cash.

  • What’s Plan B?

Let’s say you leave your job and your planning doesn’t go as you hoped. What happens now? If you’ve fallen out of love with your profession and are trying something new, that’s a lot of eggs to put into one basket. The grass isn’t always greener. Having a backup plan can actually be a great source of relief and give you the confidence to really go after what you want.

  • Are you just riddled with self-doubt?

Fear stops us doing so much. Maybe you’re in your current job for fear of leaving, fear of the unknown and fear of failure. Look inward and figure out what insecurities or worries could be clouding your decision to leave. Look at it this way - what is the reason to stay? If you have little to no idea, you might have your answer right there.

Don’t make this decision lightly or on your own. Talk to friends, trusted colleagues and yourself. Making any career move is about strategy, heart and drive so have all three in check before you type up that notice. Be honest, be realistic and be brave.

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! @markbevans