Planning to quit your job? Ask yourself these questions


Illustration by Albert Rodriguez

The past 20 months have been a period of uncertainty for all of us. The world as we imagined it has ceased to exist. Things we considered mundane and normal have become luxuries.

Being with friends, having a drink after work, going to the mall, watching a movie after a tiring day—all of these things we used to take for granted were not allowed for a time. Plans were stalled or canceled. The future was unpredictable at best.

Some families were forced to live apart, while others were forced to live together 24/7. These extremes have threatened relationships, sanity and one’s sense of being.

Simultaneously, the world has seen a tremendous number of people leaving jobs. Anthony Klotz, an organizational psychologist and professor at Texas A&M University, called this “The Great Resignation.”

While many business ventures plummeted or closed, many industries emerged and grew during the pandemic. This may be the perfect time for you to jump ship and go where the grass could be greener.

If you are still on the fence on whether to stay or leave your job, here are some things to consider to help you navigate your decision-making process:

Why are you considering leaving your job?

Mental health issues have been on the rise due to social restrictions and uncertainties. There was a time during this pandemic when every day felt like it could be Armageddon, with people getting sick, hospitalized and dying left and right.

And while recent COVID cases have been mostly mild, our minds and bodies may still need some time to process and recover from the roller-coaster ride we’ve all been on.

What will leaving your job solve and change? Will it provide a solution to your issues?

Do you just need a moment to pause and reflect? Do you need to talk to a coach or a therapist to process these things? Would ranting with your best friend be all you need?

These are what we call mini-transitions that may be enough for you to regain your zest for life.

Five years from now

What will you lose if you leave your job now?

Are you upset with how your one-on-one with your boss went? Do you feel bad because someone got promoted ahead of you? Is the thought of leaving just out of impulse?

If you leave, what will you lose? If you fast-forward to five years from now, would this have been a good decision? Or is it likely something you’ll regret?

There could be ways to solve problems at work before deciding to leave your job for a new one. Maybe you could talk to your boss about some kind of arrangement. Maybe you can ask for a mental health leave, just to give yourself space.

Will you be able to find a new job soon if you resign today?

How does this job fit in your long-term goal?

Say, you’re in your desired department, marketing. Your goal is to be senior manager of a marketing department in five years’ time. You got an offer that promises a pay raise of X percent of your current pay, but you will be doing sales.

Ask yourself, how this will affect the trajectory of your career? Will it help or will it be a detour?

What’s the culture of the company you plan to move to? While money may be the first thing people consider in getting a job, it is hardly what makes them stay, unless they need it for survival. Money is usually not among the Top 3 reasons people stay or leave.

Would the culture you’re going into be more life-giving for you?

Company cultures can trump any good boss or position you’ll have. Will their culture give you more growth in the long run?

Do your values align with what the company stands for?

Many people join companies because it makes them feel that they have a sense of purpose. When they’re able to actualize their personal missions in the workplace, most days won’t feel like work.

Ask yourself, “What causes do I feel the most passion or pain for?” It could be homeless children, abandoned pets, or climate change. The answer will normally lead to something you’d want to advocate. Having work that aligns with your highest visions allows you to actualize your biggest dreams.

What are your priorities in life?

How will the demands of your future employer affect the current life equation? Mothers have found a new role in being in-house teachers for their kids. Others have become caretakers of their parents and other family members. Will your new boss allow these adjustments for you? —CONTRIBUTED INQ

The author is an executive coach and an organizational development practitioner.

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