Hate Your Job? Want To Quit? Hold Your Horses!
Maybe it's the end of the summer and the post holidays blues, or maybe it's the time off that gave you space to finally pause and reflect. Almost without realising, between one ice cream and the other, you are thinking about your career again, and the conclusion is: I need a new job!
You start listing all the reasons why you don't like your current role, your boss, your coworkers, your office, and yes, even that old coffee machine (because, hey, coffee is very important!). Before you know it, you are back from the holidays and surf the web for new opportunities. Does it sound familiar? It happened to me too.
While this time of the year means regained energy, motivation and new ideas for some, it feels it's time to throw in the towel and change chapter for many others. Maybe that is the solution, maybe it's not.
Before you go crazy updating your CV, spending hours on jobs sites and more hours preparing and submitting your applications, STOP! Yes, please, hold your horses for a moment or two. Breathe, sit down, let´s talk about it.
Here are 3 points to consider before starting your research:
What is it about your job that you really, really don't like? In any jobs and work environments there are positive and negative things, but how they affect you depends on what's important for you. Are there positive/meaningful aspects of your job that balance the negative ones, or is it really not the case? What does your job mean to you?
Have you actually thought about what you want, or have you just thought about what you don´t want? If you notice, it's usually much easier to talk about what we don't like and what you don't want, but if someone asks: so, what do you want? Often we don't even have a straight answer. Before seeking a change, it's advisable to seek clarity and purpose. What are you really looking for?
Have you tried to improve things where you are? Or is there really no chance to make things better? Sometimes we fall into assumptions without looking for possibilities that might actually be under our nose, and we don't see them because we are too busy focusing on the negative. Maybe you didn't consider talking with your manager, assuming a negative outcome, or maybe it's about taking a different approach/changing your attitude, and seeing if that creates a shift in the way you experience your job and working environment.
I'm all for getting out of the comfort zone and taking on new challenges, and if changing job is really the answer, go for it. If you find that things are not as you expected, it will still be an experience, not only professional but that will serve your personal development. Mistakes are equally necessary for our growth. My invite though is to reflect on your why. Why are you looking for a new job? Be honest with yourself, think it through and evaluate it from all angles.
I also believe that time usually confirms whether it was a temporary doubt and a negative perception of a moment, or something bigger. If you are currently employed and don't have the urgency of finding a job that pays the bills, give yourself a bit of time to look inside yourself before searching outside for an escape, and then evaluate all possible options.
Last but not least, don't keep it all in your head and lose sleep over it, talk about it with people you trust or look for a professional who can guide you in this phase. There can be more than one single answer..