Q: Every year around this time, I sit down to write goals for the following year. Because the economy is improving and more companies are hiring, for the first time in a while I’m considering leaving my job. It’s not a bad job -good benefits, pays the bills- but it’s something I’ve held onto because there were few choices. How do I know if it’s the right time to leave?
A: Deciding to leave a job is a very personal decision, and it’s dependent on where you find yourself in life. How many people depend on your paycheck? Are you starting your career, cruising it or winding it down? Are you up to your eyeballs in debt or are your car and condo paid for? Do you identify with your job or is it just a means to make a living? These are different for each of us. Having said that, I do think there are some important symptoms that, if present, universally signal to all of us that it’s time to go looking. My top three are:
You don’t believe in the company, don’t like they way they do business, or treat employees. Their values simply are not in line with yours.
You get depressed by 8pm on Sunday and are miserable every morning. ‘Nuff said.
Your work is affecting your physical health. Maybe the long hours don’t allow you to workout, eat decent meals and get enough sleep. Maybe it’s not the hours but the stress involved, or the commute, or the toxic work environment. Nothing is worth sacrificing your health. The older you get, the more this is true.
I’m not one of those people that thinks you should love, love, your job every day. I’m too cynical (yes I’m one of those Gen-Xer) to think that’s consistently possible. I expect work to be “work”, that’s why we exchange it for money. But I do believe -at a minimum- you should like the people you work with, you should feel respected and appreciated, you should believe in what you are doing and in those who lead it. Otherwise, yes, take advantage of the good economy, make getting a new job a goal for 2016!