Everyone has had that kind of day – a workday so miserable, no amount of wine, exercise or TV-binge-watching can erase it. In our role as recruiter, we hear about these days frequently. In fact, sometimes we are the first call candidates make when they need to vent about their bad day. “I am so done with this place!” they say. “I have really had it. I need to get out of here!” But, is quitting really the answer? Maybe, maybe not. Before you write that resignation letter, ask yourself these six questions.
1. Do I dread coming to work every day?
Let’s face it, it’s called “work” for a reason and very often mundane tasks are just part of the job. If you genuinely dread going to work, ask yourself, “Why?” Is it a very long commute that is taking a toll on your family time and expenses? Are you not being challenged mentally and professionally? Are your coworkers difficult? Is your manager constantly breathing down your neck? Or, does he or she ignore you and give you no direction or feedback? Are the stress levels and long hours making you physically sick? If so, these issues should not be ignored.
2. Do I feel supported at work?
The number one complaint we hear from unhappy employees is they don’t feel supported or valued by their organization. For some people, that means being able to come in early and leave early to offset a long commute or to be able to coach their kid’s soccer team. For others, it could mean coworkers who share information, work well as a “team” in the true sense of the word and readily help each other. Do you feel “heard” by your manager? Do you feel comfortable approaching that person with an issue or an idea? Is he or she truly listening to your input, or do your words consistently fall on deaf ears? The ability to be “heard” and to be supported are critical in any good relationship, professional or otherwise. If you don’t feel either, quitting might be the answer.
3. Are there opportunities for growth?
Promotion from within is a fundamental way managers can retain top employees. It is far easier to advance your career by moving up internally versus quitting your job to change roles. Have you explored open positions posted internally? Would any of them allow you to gain more experience or responsibility? Do you see other people in the company being promoted? A culture that supports growth and professional development is generally a healthy one.
4. Am I being recognized for my efforts?
It’s not realistic for you to be praised daily for showing up for work, but did you finish a critical project ahead of schedule? Did you stay late last Friday to help a coworker in another department? Did you proactively identify and solve a problem that has been a constant headache? Good managers will not only notice these things, they will also let you know they noticed them. Everyone welcomes being appreciated.
5. Am I bored?
The author Ellen Parr said, “The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” When is the last time you asked to do something slightly outside your scope of responsibilities? Are you interested in learning a new design skill, technology or a new part of the business? Does your company offer paid training opportunities? Have you raised your hand to take on a new project? These things might just be the breath of fresh air you need to get re-energized about your current role to feel less complacent.
6. Is my company stable?
It’s hard to quantify what “stable” even means anymore, but there are some key signs. Has your company had repeated layoffs? Has the company lost several big clients recently? Has the company been sold or acquired? Have there been several changes at senior levels within the company, and not for the better? These can be red flags and might indicate it’s time to update the resume and portfolio. It’s always better to search for a new job on your own terms.
After you have had that glass of wine, gone for a good run, and watched all the seasons of your favorite guilty pleasure, take stock in your answers to these questions and determine if quitting your job is really the answer, or if you’ve simply just had that day.