How do I know when its the right time to ‘break up’ with my job?
Mimi Darmstadter, U-M preferred executive and career coach for alumni in the D.C region, says there are many things to consider when you find yourself asking this question. Here are a few of the most important issues to weigh:
- Am I excited to go to work everyday? If the answer is “no,” than it means that something is missing. I encourage clients to think about the “missing” piece and whether it can be cultivated in their current work and/or extracurricular interests. If the answer remains “no,” then it might be time to start looking for other opportunities.
- Am I learning? Advancement opportunities come and go in the workplace. There may be limited opportunities now to advance but that can change. So..another important consideration is whether their is learning/professional development outside of advancement. Sometimes continued opportunities to develop new skills can sustain a manager at least for the short term until promotion is a possibility.
- Am I contributing? Again, sometimes while advancement opportunities are limited, the opportunity to make a difference “on the job” exists. Some of my clients hold off on leaving a job because their work still strongly aligns with their professional purpose. If one’s sense of impact is missing, it may be time to go.
- How does my outside “work” complement my job? Sometimes my clients have outside interests that are sufficiently strong and time-consuming that they are comfortable, at least in the short-term, staying where they are. Professional interest/hobbies outside work can be a source of energy and fulfillment.
Another thing that is important to remember is that “thinking about leaving” does not mean that you’ve left your job. Work transitions can take a long time and as soon as you start getting an “itch” to leave, start exploring your options. “Looking” does not commit you to a departure but allows you to begin the “search.”
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