As we wind down the year and look forward to next, you may be doing a bit of self-reflection. If you aren’t happy in your job, chances are you are wondering if it may be time to go. Or, should you wait until you have another job to go to? Or, start that new business you’ve been thinking about? Or, maybe just wait because, well, things are bound to get better. For many of us, that is the extent of our consideration. Despite the many reasons we may have to leave, despite our unhappiness, we stay.
If you find that you are defaulting to the status-quo, perhaps you need to think a little deeper. Staying in a job that makes you miserable is not good for anyone — your company, your team, your colleagues and least of all, you.
This is something that comes up fairly often in my coaching business and when I ask my clients what is keeping them from leaving the jobs that are making them miserable, this is what I hear most often:
1. I Don’t Want To Start Over
People worry about starting something new because they have invested so much of themselves to get where they currently are. (Even though, where they currently are is making them miserable.)
Let’s think about this. You are someone with experience in whatever you do, and this experience does not disappear when you leave your position. Even if you do something completely different from what you've done before, you bring your past experience –- whatever that looks like -- with you. It is never wasted. Every new experience builds upon the ones that came before. While you might not always be able to make a direct link, whatever comes is as a result of that.
2. I Need The Money
This is real. We all have responsibilities — paying bills, taking care of our families — and having a regular salary allows us to do that. However, I ask you to consider this: what is your current situation costing you? Is it time with people you love? Your health? Your relationships?
Do you really need to make the same money you currently make? Consider how much you really need and how long it will take you to make that. Can you survive that long without a paycheck? Can you do something in the short term to get you through?
Before you convince yourself that you have no choice but to stay in your job, check your ego, check your savings, and make a plan.
3. I like the people I work with
Having co-workers to laugh with, collaborate with, even sometimes to commiserate with, can be one of the joys of corporate life. Leaving your company, means leaving your friends, colleagues, perhaps even the people you socialize most with…to do what? Spend time at home on your own developing your next big thing, looking for a job, or consulting?
Before you dismiss the idea of leaving your job because you think you will be lonely on your own, know that there are more ways than ever to meet and network with people just like you. Meetup is a great resource to find people with whom you have something in common, including many networking and referral groups in which to meet likeminded people. And who says you have to work from home? For a relatively low cost, co-working spaces allow you to have all the camaraderie and office amenities that you are used to. Or go to your local Starbucks for a change of scene for just the price of a coffee.
Before spending another unhappy year at work, take the time to carefully consider your options. What does it mean to leave and what is it going to cost you to stay? Your unhappiness may just be a signal that the time is right for change.