You’ve been working long hours for months and your workload keeps mounting on an already impossible backlog. No one seems to notice what you do (except when it’s not right). Other people are not pulling the same weight and you can’t imagine why “that person” was promoted.
Thank God it’s Friday! Your boss brings a project and puts it on your desk at noon….on his way out the door for an early start to the weekend. You barely look up from your work but manage your most cheerful “have a good weekend” before you answer the ringing phone. It’s an angry customer. You need to escalate the issue to your higher-ups. You get your VP on the phone to explain. Suddenly she snaps at YOU over something you have absolutely no control over anyway.
You pause, calmly say something really clever and hang up the phone. Then you gather up the family pictures, your personalized clock, and your coffee mug. With your arms full and head held high, you walk through the office, heads bopping up over cubical walls as you pass, and you go straight out the door.
Suddenly everything is suspended in time. The air sweeps across your skin like a cool cloth. It’s so fresh to breath, your lungs take it in like a vaccum. The slow motion of a birds’ chirping scores the entire scene like a ribbon around a package. The sun shines as if directly to you casting droplets of warmth through the chilled air. It’s so bright, you have to blink hard. Then, you open your eyes.
Your computer screen is staring at you with the same blank expression. The voice is coming back through the phone like a dial tuning in a radio station. “Problem”…”Ball dropped”…”Can’t have…”
You missed at least a few sentences but not to worry, you’ve surely heard them before.
Ever consider what place and time would be better than this one right now? A beach. The movies. Your bed. The unemployment line. The unemployment line? Boxed Mac ‘N Cheese really isn’t that bad!
We’ve all had “one of those days”. We’re only human and we can only take so much. When our emotions run high from stress that spikes or just runs on relentlessly, it becomes hard to see and think clearly. In these moments, we need to pause and take stock. Don’t hand in your pink slip or start packing up just yet. If you need to make a change, make a plan first.
- Have you saved up? Before quitting, think seriously about where you’ll be getting income and if you have enough saving for the necessities. Living without a source of income or any savings won’t be any better than working at a job you hate.
- Are you likely to find another job? Do you have a job lined up or are you going to look for one later? If you lack experience, it may be better to stay at your current job to get experience. Also in today’s job market, it takes time and a lot more work to get a good job. Before your leave your job, be aware you may spend months looking for your next one.
- Is there a chance for improvement at your job? Sometimes talking to your boss about your concerns could be what helps the most. Most times, your boss will listen to you and try to find a solution. It won’t be a magic cure, but it could be extremely helpful in the end. If you don’t get the help you need from her, you can turn to your coworkers. You may benefit from their advice and work as a team to solve the problem.
- Staying put may help you get ahead. When you work at the same place for the right amount of time is important for your resume. You don’t want to stagnate but you also don’t want to come off as disloyal or jumpy. When hiring authorities and recruiters are looking at resumes, they are looking for stability and progression. You want to avoid both instability and regression at all costs. Also, you want to do everything possible to leave in such a way as to maintain credibility and respect. Having your boss as your reference can really help you in the future.
- Are you leaving because you hate your boss? If your boss isn’t the nicest or most understanding person, or if he is just simply ineffective, working for him could drive you insane. If you quit your job, your boss won’t be the one suffering and trying to find a new job. He won’t have to start over somewhere new. Are you willing to sacrifice your happiness for him?
- Consider taking a sick day. Also known as a “Mental Health Day”, one day off may help you gather your perspective and consider the situation more fully. Take this time to have fun and relax. Maybe you are just overworked and need a break. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. The reason you might be thinking it’s time to leave your job may have nothing to do with your job itself. Make sure you have clarity on this.
At the end of the day, it’s your life. You are in control of your decisions and no one can make them for you. Just make sure to take the time to think about what you’re going to do and the best way to do it before you take action.