Should I Stay Or Go?

 In Career Tips

Should I Stay Or Go?According to a recent article in Time magazine, the number of American workers quitting their jobs increased by 11% over 2012.  So what about you?  You know that you don’t like your job, but is this a good time to leave?  Or should you stay where you are because what you have where you are is probably as good as it gets?

Obviously, you should really think through your options before taking the step of quitting your job, especially if you don’t have something else lined up.

Here are some thought questions to help you determine whether it is best to stay or go when it comes to the position that you currently hold:

How systemic are the problems? If you work for a totally toxic organization, then whatever problems you encounter with one department will be similar in another department.  In this case, you may want to consider leaving the organization because you are not likely to find relief anywhere else in the company.

Do you have examples of other people who have tried to make changes? Have they been successful or have they been cut off at the knees?  If you can stay with your current organization, that is clearly the easiest thing to do because you know that you have a steady income, and you already know the environment.  But as you contemplate trying to find a better situation within your organization, you may want to think about how you can change the environment for the better.  But is this actually realistic?  Have others tried to make changes?  If so, how have they fared?  If there are positive examples of those who have made a positive impact on the workplace, study what they have done so that you too can learn to be successful in making changes.  But if, on the other hand, those who have tried to make changes have been punished severely for doing so, this may be an indication that change is not welcome at your organization.

What is the real issue? Is it the nature of your work or are there things about the environment that are unworkable?  Sometimes people are unhappy because they really don’t like the type of work that they are doing.  The work is a bad fit for who they are.  In other cases, it is not the work itself, but rather the environment in which they are doing the work that is problematic.  It only makes sense to identify the true nature of the source of your unhappiness so that you can make the best choices.

Is your organization large enough so that you can find other opportunities that would be a better fit for you? If the nature of the work is the issue, not the environment itself, then you should look at other opportunities within your organization.  Perhaps you can cross train or obtain additional education that would help you transition to another area within the organization.  That way you would not lose the investment that you have already made within your current organization, and at the same time you could find more job satisfaction.

Is it realistic to think that you can find a better situation?  Sometimes the nature of the work drives your dissatisfaction.  For example, working long hours in the healthcare field often comes with the territory.  Depending on what type of position you hold within the healthcare industry, you may not be able to get around the fact that you will have to work long hours.  On the other hand, in other fields, long hours may be endemic to a particular company as part of the culture, but that does not necessarily mean that that is true of every company.

Cheryl Palmer is a career expert who has regularly been quoted in The Ladders, the Wall Street Journal, CBS MoneyWatch, and CNN Money.  She is a career coach, resume writer, and LinkedIn expert.  Download 5 Master Strategies to Land a Job Through Social Media at

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