Should you really quit your job?

Job change

Questions to ask yourself before you consider resigning. Wanting to quit a job is something that happens to many of us at some point in our careers.

But whether wishing to resign should translate into actually taking the step is often the part that is tricky to navigate.

And in an economic climate where unemployment rates are high (particularly amongst the youth of South Africa), leaving your secure work position (even if you have another post lined up) is a bit of a gamble.

The truth is that there are so many factors to consider before you make such a big step.

Your workplace circumstances and finances are often vital aspects that play a role in deciding to either quit your job completely (with no plan) or accept another position (which may or may not be a guarantee that you'll find what you're looking for in your next potential job).

And while no one is advocating for you to stay in a position that's making you unhappy or no longer providing any sense of personal fulfilment, it is essential to do a full assessment of your situation before deciding that you're ready to leave.

So before you type out that resignation later, consider the following questions:

What do you love about your job?

If you’re in a place where you find yourself bored, start by reminding yourself why you applied for the job.

According to Harvard Business Review, an excellent way to look at the problem is to take it from both a day-to-day perspective as well as a bigger picture overview. 

Make a list of the day-to-day things you enjoy, because a few bad days could easily make you lose sight of what you love about the position you’re in.

Ask yourself if you’re still challenged by what you’re doing and consider whether or not it’s something you can still see yourself doing in the future.

By the same token, you should also consider what you dislike about your job.

A comparison list will go a long way in providing you with guidance as to whether or not you should stay or go.

If what you dislike about your work outweighs what you do love about your job, you might want to start thinking about looking for something else.

Before you do though, think about the steps you can first take to address what you dislike.  

Is there anything that could change that would make you want to stay?

Perhaps a change in routine or different work hours? Or maybe you’d like to be given some new challenges.

Set up a meeting with your manager to address concerns if you feel that you’re stagnating.

In an article for W24 Writer, Elizabeth Mamacos, advises that you should exhaust all your options before you consider leaving (and this particularly applies when you want to resign with no backup plan).

She advises that you should chat with the HR department if any problematic situations need resolving. She also suggests that perhaps taking a leave of absence would also be a good idea to determine whether or not you just need a break.

If you return feeling no different to what you did before, then you might want to consider that job change.

What do you feel you need that your job is no longer providing?

Are you feeling under-utilised? Have there been any opportunities for growth? And most importantly, does your workplace still align with the values you want out of life?

If your workplace leaves you feeling lacking because there aren’t any opportunities to expand your knowledge, or you feel like the skills you have aren’t being used to broaden your horizons, it might be time to look elsewhere.

Workplace happiness does not merely involve the output you're creating. It's also about input and whether or not yours is being utilised to its fullest capacity. If this has failed to be addressed, then it’s time to move on. Is your mental health being affected?

Society has often also placed an added and invisible burden on many of us to feel obligated to stay in positions that may no longer benefit us. 

But workplace environments can become toxic, and not only can it affect our well-being, but also our sense of work-life balance. 

If working relationships are acrimonious and has led to a decrease in your work performance, if you continuously go to work in a state of anxiety and if the workload has piled on and become unmanageable to the point where you are no longer able to cope, then you need to leave.

Making the decision to leave a job is never easy, but difficult choices are often the most necessary ones for a better future. 

If you’ve gone through all the options, have taken steps to alleviate unhappiness but still don’t feel any fulfilment, then moving on to the next (and hopefully better) venture is the best choice you can make.

Writer | Tammy February