In the workplace, we are often so focused on trying to do our best—to improve even difficult situations—that sometimes we miss what’s blatantly obvious: We’d be better off leaving our current employment and going somewhere else.
Many unhappily employed people clung to their existing jobs during the recent recession. They were afraid of facing the prospects of finding a new job in the poor economy. But now the situation isn’t quite as difficult. That means you have options besides putting up with a job that is uncomfortable, not challenging, or perhaps even toxic.
So how do you know when to stay and when to go? The best way to judge is to listen to your head, your heart, AND your gut.
Your head will tell you logically what the job is worth to you. What are the opportunities for advancement? Are there assignments that would expand your scope or offer opportunities to build additional skills? Are you engaged and challenged on a regular basis? These are the facts you can list on a simple sheet of paper.
Your heart will tell you what’s best for you emotionally. Do you enjoy the camaraderie of your peers? Can you create a better working relationship with your manager? Are there aspects of the job that still make you feel good?
Your gut will tell you what you’re feeling on a deeper level. Does this job make you hate getting up in the morning? Do you dread the end of the weekend? Do you feel tense and stressed? Are these issues ongoing and persistent?
Sometimes your head and heart will disagree. In that case, you’ll have to weigh the options and make a decision.
But when your gut sends you a message, listen carefully. If in spite of all the good reasons you think you should do something, your gut says it’s wrong, it most likely is wrong for you.
Accept that. Rather than trying to fight an ongoing uphill battle, put your energy into finding the next opportunity. No matter how much logically or emotionally you want to make things work, your gut has told you it’s time to go.
-Linda Popky, President, Leverage2Market Associates