Leaving a job is rarely an easy decision to arrive to considering the level of unemployment and the many people who consider you lucky to have a 9-5. Your cries of stress are always met with sighs and mumbles of “but at least you have a job”. However, a poor economy and the fact that you seem to be the luckiest amongst your friends should not keep you at a job that is threatening your well-being in one way or another. Before you hand in that resignation letter, here are some questions you should ask yourself to make the decision easier?
- Why do I want to leave?
So many times we get caught up in the negative emotions and the day to day hustle and bustle that we rarely stop and ask ourselves this question. Why do you want to leave? And if I may add, is it a valid reason? This question will help you put some things in perspective. Believe it or not, sometimes a stressful period can have you convinced that you are tired of the job. You should not make a major decision like resigning in a situation where taking some time off work or maybe taking on some different tasks would have solved the problem. You can have this conversation with a trusted person to help you think through your reasons for leaving to check their validity.
- When should I move?
After everything has been put in place, the next thing is to decide when you should make your move. Most companies have a policy on how much notice you should give if you are planning to leave the company and the alternative to compensate financially if you choose to not give that notice. Unless the situation is urgent, I always advise that it is best to give notice and use those last days to put so many things in order. Putting a timeline on your move also makes it more real and forces you to think clearly about it and plan for it. Unless it is a matter of life and death, I wouldn’t advise that you quit on a whim. Give it time, think it through.
- Where am I going?
Movies often show people who quit their jobs as being so happy that they couldn’t care for anything else. Unfortunately, that is not how life always works out. The next day after you leave your job, you will still have the same responsibilities you had the day before; the taxi fare will still be the same, it will still cost money to acquire things from the supermarket and you will still probably still need to pay rent. It is therefore wise to consider what your next move will be before you leave. Have you been offered another job? Are you leaving to work on a personal project? Etc. The real question you are seeking to answer here is, “what is going to be my sustenance after this?”
4 .How have I prepared for this?/How should I prepare for this After figuring out where you will be headed, the next thing to ask yourself is how have you prepared for it?
If it is a move to a new organization, have you put your affairs in order so that you can have a proper hand over? It is key to never burn bridges. Part of your preparation for the next job is to leave the previous job well. Your former colleagues and employers are people you will need to speak well of you. Besides, leaving on a good note gives you the opportunity to return if ever you change your mind. If you are leaving to become an entrepreneur, what do you already have in place for the next venture? Do you have savings that you can rely on as your project breaks even, have you made contact with partners if any for the next phase? Prepare, prepare, prepare! Sometimes, after asking yourself some honest questions, you might realize that maybe you are not ready for a move or that you do not want to move after all. Whichever way it turns out, these questions should help you make a more thought-out decision. Let me know; what questions have you found yourself asking whenever you consider leaving a job?