Your Job: When is Staying Worse Than Leaving?

Posted by Jeff Pelliccio on Nov 14, 2018 9:00:00 AM

In ICS insights, Job Trends, Job Search Tips, Candidate

If you are thinking about quitting your job, you may be inspired to do so by the burgeoning economy. Keep in mind that a tight labor market isn't the only consideration when it comes time to find a new job that is a good fit. Don't look for a job without a clear objective in mind. If you like where you're at and your future looks bright at your current company, there may be no reason to leave--stability is a precious commodity.

If the state of the economy doesn't determine your job hunt, then why should some other factors that professionals often use to determine whether to look for a job or make a career change? Before you even think about jumping on a new offer, consider the reasons you're really doing it. 

Whether the economy is booming or stagnating, you have to consider a complex web of factors on whether you should bother to look for a job somewhere else. There are so many things that professionals think about when it's time to move on - or decide to stay where they are. This article should help you answer some of those questions so that you can make an informed decision.

Bad Coworkers Do Not Equal a Bad Job

If they are being totally honest, most people would probably admit that there is at least one colleague they dread seeing in the hallways let alone at their desk. Hopefully, this isn't your boss. Even if it is, a poor relationship with a coworker is a terrible reason to leave a good job. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule.

Organizations don't revolve around one person, so don't let your career be derailed by adverse relationships with your coworkers or manager. This is especially true if your group has a lot of turnover. Most difficult relationships can improve over time, even if it means both sides are swallowing their pride. Try to be the person everyone can work well with, and you can usually avoid the problem unless someone is totally unreasonable. It's helpful to know if there's something about your personality or workstyle that rubs people the wrong way. This could be your opportunity to break bad habits that might otherwise follow you to your next job.

There's a limit to how much you should take before cutting your losses. If antagonistic or uncaring coworkers make it too hard for you to work effectively, it's time to leave. Once an environment has gone toxic, it's time to get out and take steps to make sure not to bring that attitude to your next job.

Is Money a Good Enough Reason to Leave a Job

The lure of a bigger payday catches a lot of people off-guard and causes them to leave their jobs without considering all the facts. On the other hand, if you need more money to live and there's no room in the budget for larger paychecks, it doesn't matter if you're a star employee because you have to go somewhere else to get it. Typically, you start at a salary and see increases every year that put 5 to 10 percent more in your pocket. This puts you on an upward trajectory many people dream of.  If you need a bigger jump of, say, 25 percent, you may either need to apply for a promotion or find a similar role at another organization willing to give you what you need.

A Learning Curve Isn't a Good Reason to Leave

In this age of instant satisfaction, it's easy to think that if something doesn't come easily or if you struggle to do your work, then you're a failure. This couldn't be further than the truth. The nature of most jobs changes on a yearly, monthly or daily basis. It's any wonder anyone can keep up at all. That's why most jobs now include an extended training period that allows workers to learn how to deal with unexpected circumstances and still perform their core job functions.

In fact, if you start a new job, you're likely to be starting from scratch with no pre-existing support system to ask for advice or cheer you up after a mistake. So, give yourself a break and time to learn the job, but don't beat yourself up if it seems to be taking a longer time than expected. Be just as patient with yourself as you would be for a co-worker or client. You might start out doing a task at the minimal level and end up being more efficient than the team that hired you.

Leave a Job That's Stagnant with Few Growth Opportunities

Sometimes, to prevent your skills and job growth from stagnating, it’s time to try something new. This is a great reason to re-enter the job market. Here's a good way to tell if this is happening to you. Do you go to work and perform your job responsibilities as if you're on autopilot? If half the morning is gone and your most memorable moment was breakfast or chatting with a co-worker, it's time to rethink why you're wasting your time in an unfulfilling position.

Don't Leave a Job Because Your Company is Reorganizing

When a company announces a reorganization, a loud sound can be heard as people rush to the exits and jostle one another to be the first to jump ship. LinkedIn updates start to light up your notifications, and you wonder why you are sticking around for the uncertainty. Many times, a reorganization means downsizing and eliminating redundant or unrequired positions, so it's no wonder people decide to leave on their own terms instead. On the other hand, even if your company has been acquired by another corporation, there may be opportunities for you to move into a management or assistant management position. In any case, there's no harm in asking, as long as you can handle the 'No.'

Leave a Job When You Want to Change Careers

Maybe your temporary job has turned into a permanent position. Great news, right? The answer is, it depends. If you are excited to learn new things and wanted a permanent position all along, this is an incredible opportunity. On the other hand, if the new position that was handed to you doesn't match your career plan, it's not a bad idea to turn it down. Be clear on what you want in your career and why you are unable to accept the job. There may be a job opening in another department that your employer can now refer you to.

Don't Leave a Job for Work-Life Balance

This topic is not a suggestion that you stay in a job with unrealistic hours and work expectation that puts your family life on shakey ground. Rather, if you're caring for an aging parent, starting a family or just want more free time, there's nothing wrong with prioritizing that. Before you start looking for a new job to accommodate this, maybe it's time to ask for a more flexible work schedule. Again, you literally have nothing to lose and potentially can get back your personal life without looking for a new job. The worst thing that's going to happen is that your management team backtracks and starts asking you to work weekends and after hours. Then, you can decide whether it's time to hit the job boards.

Leave a Job You No Longer Have Any Passion For

Nobody wants the deadweight of apathetic employees weighing down productivity. As you may know, negativity spreads its misery to others.  Snap out of your daylong dreaming and use the downtime to get ready to work somewhere else that engages your skills and challenges you with new concepts and ideas. Otherwise, the decision on whether to stay or go will probably be made by someone else.

If you feel like damaged goods, it's not a great idea to change jobs right away. Get clarity on the old position and why it wasn't working out. Going into a job where you're doing exactly the same thing is not going to bring out the best in you. It's time for some perspective beyond the paycheck. Rolling from one dead-end job to another may pay the bills, but a positive career change that's strategically planned gets you charged up for the next life in your career. Contact ICS.


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