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When is it time to leave your job?

October 30, 2015


How happy are you in your job?


Apart from the winning lotto and leaving to dip your toes into the Mediterranean for all eternity scenario, have you ever considered just packing up your stuff and walking out of your job? I think when bad days strike at work all of us dream of doing this but in reality most employment contracts specify a certain amount of notice to be given so we can’t leave without consequences.(Although if the consequence was money related and you HAD won lotto, it would probably be worth the risk! )


So how do you decide if it is just a bad day or two  that you’re having or if the rot has set in and you really should be writing out that resignation letter and job hunting?


Let’s look at some scenarios –

  1. You still like the job and learning but some parts of the job are tedious or some of the people in your team are hard to work with – I would suggest staying if you’re still enjoying most of the work and suck up the tedious parts or find a way to make them less tedious. You will also probably never like everyone you work with but maybe you can find ways to connect and work with others – or just be professional in your attitude if you still have difficulty working with them. Remember you can only change yourself or your attitude, not anyone else.

  2. You like the job and you think there still might be stuff to learn but it isn’t happening – you need to ask yourself if this is you or the organisation – are you expecting them to provide training or opportunities and you could actually be pursuing this yourself? Or are you being held back? Might be time to seek advice from a mentor or someone outside the organisation who will be honest with you. If you work in a small workplace though, there may not be the opportunity to grow any more in the role and you will need to consider if you like the job enough to stay or you want to grow in your career and maybe leave.

  3. You like the job but you are keen to progress in your career and the work all seems a bit same same and you don’t feel like you are learning – definitely time to go.

  4. Your job is so busy that you have to work really crazy hours to just see the top of your in tray – if this is ALL the time and you aren’t getting rewarded or any down time and the stress is affecting your health – what are you doing – get out while you can still find the door and get a life already! I believe that if you don’t have your health you don’t have anything. 

  5. You work with a bunch of people who are toxic or stuck in their ways and should have looked at this list and made the decision to leave. You know, however,  they never will and things won’t change  – this could be the management group, your governance group, your fellow team members – and  something you have no control over so if they are holding you back – definitely time to go.

  6. You dread going to work every day – maybe it’s the workload, maybe it’s your boss, maybe it’s the commute, maybe it’s the hours – if you can’t change it – definitely time to go

  7. The work isn’t fun anymore – is this just a bad patch and there is likely to be changes in the not too distant future – stay and ride it out. Or has the fun been gone for a while – maybe time to go.

  8. Someone is treating you badly or unfairly – speak up in the first instance if you can – to your supervisor or Manager or HR. You may not be the only one being treated this way and the workplace has a duty of care to ensure all employees are treated well. If you’ve tried speaking up and nothing is changing – you have a variety of options depending on the issue. I would never suggest leaving as a first option because the problem will probably just transfer to someone  else – but I certainly understand why people do leave.  Definitely don’t leave this one alone – seek help and advice as soon as you can.

  9. Your talents or skills aren’t being recognised – if the workplace is too small to be able to tap into skills you have that don’t relate to your job ( for example you may have qualifications in something other than you are employed for) then it’s up to you to decide how important  that is in your career but if they relate directly to your job and still aren’t being utilised – maybe time to go.

I’m sure there are plenty of other scenarios you could think of – I would love to hear them or even have a chat about them with you.



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