Wanna know if you should quit your job? Here's a 6-point checklist to find out.
Ah man, have I battled with this conundrum a stupid amount of times! From 2002 until 2010 I darted from graphic design job to graphic design job; always working my butt off to get promoted, thinking that progressing through the ranks was going to bring me fulfilment at some point.
But I never seemed to reach that fulfilled feeling and was at a loss as to why [spoiler: I found out why eventually]. I was never spending more than two years in any one place because I was always full of hope that 'the next one will be different'. Now it may sound a bit depressing if you're currently in this mindset, but sadly for me, the next one was never different. 😔
Y'see between 2010, and my starting Kerry Lyons Co. in 2013 👉🏻 I started working for an awesome company called ebow (and I still do some work with them to this day btw). Not only did I feel part of the furniture within days of starting, but the support and encouragement I was given by the directors, Dave and Sharon, had been nothing short of epic. The mentorship that Dave selflessly gave me made all of my aspirations feel possible. And that was the difference for me. All the other companies I worked for up until that point had been consumed by furthering their businesses to their own gain with no real investment in their people (bar my first job out of uni, that was a fab lil' gig. What-up LGD 👊🏻). But ebow was always consumed by building the best team and nurturing people they valued, no matter what direction those people wanted to take (my direction just happened to be setting out on my own adventure). Granted, this kind of support is rare, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try and find it, or create it for yourself. I probably always knew I was going to end up working for myself if I'm honest, but in hindsight I was maybe waiting for/needing that encouragement to jump. And Dave's support gave me that*. And I'll forever be grateful.
[*thanks Dave 👊🏻 #ebowette4life]
It's important to mention however, that this is just what I realised was my personal deal-breaker in my employed career; feeling valued. When I didn't feel that, I moved on to find it. And it took me eight years to learn that. It may take you longer, it may take you less. You may have a different deal-breaker like a certain salary, flexible working hours or an opportunity to progress and be taken seriously. Whatever floats your personal boat, the important part is that you should never. ever. settle until you find it! It's just not necessary in this day and age to work somewhere out of obligation, like folk did years ago. You deserve to spend your working life's 90,000+ hours doing something you want to be doing. No matter what that 'something' is, it genuinely IS that simple.
If the below points sound like you, it's pretty likely you could do with a new challenge my dear. Now I'm not trying to encourage some mass quit-your-job-a-thon on a false hope that the next bit of grass is greener, 'cause it probably isn't tbh! Seeking greener grass is not the point. What is the point, is that I'm trying to encourage you to experiment. Try things on for size. Work hard. And if you feel a job has potential for you, stick it out through the sh*tty bits and see what happens. If you feel it doesn't have potential, just take your learnings with you and hop on to the next leg of your journey, wherever that may be (just pay close attention to point 6). Finding your career mojo is all one big crazy road trip, but there's no road signs to say you've taken a wrong turn at any point. In fact you can't take a 'wrong' turn. Even poor decisions on reflection are super-valuable. All you need is to find the courage to take the wheel on your own journey. And drive!
You should think about quitting your job if...
✔ 1. You’re the most miserable morning sloth
Fair enough, you might have never been a morning person. But the difference between preferring a quiet, slow start to your day instead of an energising morning run, vs. absolutely loathing the thought of getting yourself up for work for another day are two very different things. If you're the latter, you need to make some changes honey.
✔ 2. You can’t say anything nice about your boss or your colleagues
This is a big one for me, because if you've no genuine respect for the person paying your paycheque, or the people that you're spending a massive portion of your week with, there's something very wrong. Because you're choosing to be there amongst them dude! Why would you voluntarily choose such toxicity? Of course, you don't have to love them and be in agreement with everything they say or do. But respecting them? That's vital. If you don't, spending every day seething at those around you is not healthy for that beautiful mind of yours.
✔ 3. You can’t remember the last time you weren’t stressed or anxious about your work
This kind of goes without saying, and of course every job has its pressures and fair share of doing things you don't particularly want to do. But if you quite literally can't remember one enjoyable day at work in your recent history, that's no bueno. You've gotta take control of this situation and change it my lovely. Your sanity relies on it.
✔ 4. You can feel it affecting your health
I totally get that it can often be a slow burn to get to this place so it might arrive unexpectedly. But the exact moment you feel your physical health is affected by your working life, you absolutely have to nip it in the bud and make changes. No excuses. No job is worth jeopardising your health for. And even if your job literally involves the risk of you being on fire on the daily, my point is, firefighter or desk-worker, if your work is affecting your health in a way that's concerning or uncomfortable for you, it's on you to change that and take care of you buddy.
✔ 5. The work you’re doing is half-arsed and you’re bored
I know a lot of people will say, feeling bored in their work, and just doing 'enough' to get the job done is part of parcel of working life. But just to be clear, I call complete bullsh*t on that. I believe boredom in work is simply due to not believing in what you're doing. Now some folk are totally fine feeling bored by their work – just clocking in and clocking out, and more power to them, crack on love. I'm happy if you're happy. But if that sentence, 'the work you're doing is half-arsed and you're bored' unsettles you because it's true and you don't want to feel that way – this is a sure-fire sign you need change things up my friend. It's not normal if working this way doesn't make you happy.
✔ 6. You have a plan in place
Now this is a crucial one. And one I always bring up when anyone asks me for career advice. If you don't have a plan, I personally don't think it's your time to quit. But once you do have a plan, no-one can diss your decision. And that's an empowering position to be in. (This post is a useful read too if your family and friends just don't get your dream btw).
Whether your plan involves maybe having a new job lined up before you utter a word about leaving your current job; whether your plan involves accruing six months worth of savings before going to start up on your own; or whether your plan involves going travelling and having a thought-out strategy for your trip and your return – whatever your plan looks like 👉🏻 you. need. a. plan. I'm admittedly a crazily-independent person, but IMHO – that plan shouldn't involve relying on parents or loved ones to mind you while you quit your job to 'find yourself'. I think it's crucial mind work for you to do for sure, but you should also be putting on your big girl/boy pants and taking responsibility for yourself at the same time. Knowing you can look after yourself whatever your choices, makes your wins a bazillion times more satisfying too, trust me. Plus, it means you're #winning at adulting!
I genuinely know what you're going through. I know you're desperately wanting to feel fulfilled in your work but feel you have no idea how to do that, or what work to even do in the first place! But you will get there honey. In fact, I've actually excitingly launched a FREE mini-course for you, that will bundle all that awesome energy you have bubbling under the surface, and utilise it in kickstarting your life plan, setting yourself achievable goals, and showing you how to implement them 👏🏻 if you're dying to get started on creating your own life plan, you can get started here:
As always, if you think this read might be of use to someone you know, it'd mean the world to me if you shared it on. I genuinely just want to try and help as many people as I can.
Until next week,