Career Advice – Things To Know Before You Leave Your Job

You know that feeling. You look around your office or cubicle. You suck up whatever office politics have been keeping you up at night. “At least I have a job” you say. “It could be worse,” you think. Filling your coffee cup you return to your desk.

“I can do this. I can make it through this day.”

You soldier through the next 8 hours wondering if the grass really is greener on the other side of the fence.

“Maybe if I had a remote job, life would be so much easier.”

“If I had followed my heart in college I probably wouldn’t be here.”

“Sure, it’s great to dream, but dreams don’t pay bills.”

“Why is everyone all of a sudden a self-proclaimed internet expert supposedly making millions and working from the beach? How do I get that job?”

Changing careers at any age requires an inquiry. Browsing job listings before you do this is like jumping from bad relationship to bad relationship, never realizing the underlying conversation that is running the show.

If you are finding yourself dreading Monday for more reasons than most, it’s time to take stock. Before you leave your job, get clear on what exactly it is about it that doesn’t work.  

1. Is is the job or something else?

Are their outside circumstances that just in general have you under a dark cloud? When we are dealing with relationship pressures, health concerns, a sick relative, or parenting pressures, our tolerance for the day-to-day can dramatically decrease.

What to do:
Take stock of every area of your life that is NOT your job and rate it on a level of satisfaction (1 being highly dissatisfied, 5 being over the moon).

When you have a lot of low numbers there may be some other things at play. All 4’s and 5’s and yes it may very well be time for a change.

2. What is going on at your actual job?

Sit down Lucy, you have some explaining to do… to yourself.

What to do:
Take this revealing inquiry and get ready for a career change “aha.”

Describe your relationship with your boss in one sentence.
What is it like to be around your co-workers? What works for you? What doesn’t?
What do you like/dislike about the culture of your organization?
If there are work relationship issues, what efforts have you made to resolve them through communication?

What about the content of your job do you most enjoy?
What about the content of your job do you dislike and what percentage of your time do you perform those functions?
Are there other functions in your organization that you would be interested in doing? What are they?

Are there opportunities for advancement that you can clearly see at your current job?
If yes, what are they and what about them moves you?
Have you spoken to anyone about this?

3. How do you respond to change?

Think about how you handle transition. Changing jobs is no small feat. If you’ve ever moved you know that it’s really exciting until you are surrounded with boxes. Understanding how you emotionally and physically respond to change is a key factor in planning career transition.

What to do:
Think about the last time you went through a change? What support did you need to handle it? Was it sufficient?

Do you crave doing something totally different? In my next article I’ll cover changing industries or work atmosphere entirely. Stay tuned!

Stephanie Licata is a member of the DailyWorth Interface program. Read more about the program here.

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