WAKING up to a job that doesn’t excite you anymore can drain you, leave you in limbo about what you really want to do with your life and also affect your well-being. This is not something you are struggling with alone, but a lot of other people also find themselves in a similar situation. Resigning might sound like a viable option but then what happens if greener pastures are not so green on the other side?
WHY YOU WANT TO QUIT
Sometimes you might be having a bad day, week or month at work that might be making you miserable. This may not be because you hate your job but because your energy is not aligned. Jannet Davel, an Industrial Psychologist based in Johannesburg, says a new job should be an opportunity for growth. “When talking about work and life and the elusive balance between the two, we are treading on muddy ground because this looks different for everybody,” she says. Jannet says that some people build the idea of a job around inspirational posters that state that you should love every little detail of your job, and if the job does not ‘suit’ you anymore, you should quit. “Although I am a firm believer that the essence of what you do should set your soul on fire, I also know that some parts of your work will be just work. A good ratio to work with is that 80 per cent of your job should excite you in some way, but there is always a 20 per cent that is admin, routine or mundane,” she says. “However, if you hate your job with every fibre in your being, then start looking for something else. That something else is not necessarily in another industry; it can be just at another company.” Jannet says you need to understand and know the main reason that is making you want to quit. You might find it harder to be happy in your next job if your emotional issues are also not sorted out.
Jannet says before rushing to call it quits, have a basic career plan in mind. “Know where you would like to be at certain times. This will assist you in always pursuing your vision as opposed to just jumping for the next best thing,” she says. “Write down what you would like to accomplish and what you will expect from your next employer. Go about this process with the necessary selfawareness and emotional intelligence: decide what you want and upskill yourself.”
PREPARATION IS VITAL
¦ Update your CV and load it on various job search platforms.
¦ If you quit your job without prospects of a new one (not recommendable and only a few instances where this is the best move), make sure you have at least three to six months’ living costs in your bank account. Always develop a sound financial plan that will support your transition.
¦ Know your industry, the key players in the market, competitors to the company that currently employs you and salary scales.
¦ Set goals and objectives for your job search.
¦ Prepare your support network and make sure they know the reasons for your move.
¦ Prepare mentally for the job search. Pursuing a new job while employed can take the toll on your time as prospective employers can expect you to come for interviews during working hours.
¦ Find a mentor. It is so important to learn from people who have walked this path.
Let’s presume you have found another job, but still, you are not happy. Jannet says, “You might regret your decision and sometimes even feel betrayed that the people in the interview put the organisation in a light that does not match reality.” According to Jannet, a job will never fulfill you. “You should be whole and content with your life. Employers can never live up to the expectation that the job will do for you,” she says. “Also know that it may take six to 12 months to settle into a new role or new company. So don’t give up too quickly.” The process of getting the truth out of yourself cannot be bypassed; otherwise the bad experience will keep on recurring. “Try to get to the reasons why you feel this job is not for you. Is it the day-to-day activities or the corporate culture and address the root cause, rather than just the symptoms,” she says. Lynn Taylor, the author of a book titled Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant, outlines some reasons that may lead you feeling like you need to change jobs:
¦ Your skills are being under-utilised – Management doesn’t acknowledge that you have more to offer than what you’ve been contributing.
¦ You’re not following your passion – If you’re not doing what you love, you will never tap into your true potential. It will just continue to be ‘a job’ and eventually each day will seem like more of a grind.
¦ Not being fairly compensated – Downsizing has moved your team into double time, but nowhere near double compensation. The company might be performing well, but that is not reflected in your salary or other rewards.
¦ Your values and the company’s are a mismatch – There are ethical or moral differences in how the company and you believe the firm should operate.
¦ You aren’t being heard – You can’t seem to get time with the bosses; get approvals; or get acknowledgment for great work; and over time, projects are no longer coming your way.
¦ Your job is making you sick – Instead of jumping out of bed in the morning, you feel immobile. You think of 10 reasons why you should call in sick. Stress, fear or lack of enthusiasm is draining you.
¦ You’re surrounded by bad behaviour – If you’re the victim of bullying or sexual harassment, you should keep an eye out for other positions, regardless of what corrective measures you’re taking.
¦ You have more to contribute elsewhere – You’ve been thinking differently from the work you’re doing. You spend your time imagining what your life would be like “if only”. When you know you have more to offer the world, don’t second-guess yourself – get ready for change.