This question is one the is asked of me time and time again. Particularly from mothers who secured a role that suited their family rather then their own career path.
Having a few bad days or even a few weeks at work is normal but if your unhappiness at work is continuing into the months and years then it’s time to look at other options.
It’s very common for mothers to take a role that is close to home and great for pick up and drop off. They get comfortable in the job and the years roll past.
Knowing when it’s time to quit is like know when you are in love. You just know. Trust your guts.
Here a few signs to help you to identify when it’s time to quit your job.
1. You dread going to work. Does your heart sink when the alarm goes off in the morning and it’s time to get up and go to work. Do you dread walking into your work place. Are you finding excuses to avoid work? Taking extra sick leave. Then there is no doubt it’s absolutely time to put in your notice.
2. You vent about your job too much. When you speak about your job, your boss, your office is it all negative? Do you find it hard to find the good or something positive in your career? Another sign you are not where you are supposed to be.
3. You don’t have a friend at work. Did you know that Gallup research has repeatedly shown a concrete link between having a best friend at work and the amount of effort employees expend in their job. For example, women who strongly agree they have a best friend at work are more than twice as likely to be engaged (63%) compared with the women who say otherwise (29%).
4. You don’t earn enough money. How many times have you heard about a mum going back to work only to find that after childcare she is only making a couple of dollars. This doesn’t mean you have to leave your job but if you have spoken to your boss about a raise and the answer is no. Perhaps it is time to look elsewhere.
5. A toxic work place / bullying or abuse. Leadership and culture can change. You may have started under a leadership team who were people focused and skilled at creating a motivating culture. Then a change of management arrives and you are thrust into a new culture that doesn’t fit who you are. This happens all the time. It’s not you, it’s them and it’s ok to leave if the culture doesn’t suit you anymore.
Under absolutely no circumstances is bullying or abuse acceptable in a work place. Resign immediately and seek counsel if you believe you have been unfairly treated .
6. You can’t wait to leave. How many times a week do you look at the clock wishing it to be 5pm. There is a big difference to counting down the minutes to the weekend, to not wanting to be at work for a second longer.
When my clients come to me with the question “how do I know when it’s time to quit?”, I have the same simple advice for them. Sit down somewhere quiet with your favourite drink and a pen and a paper.
Make the following lists:
– things I love about my job
– things I don’t like about my job
– if I didn’t have to worry about money or time, what would be my dream job.
I ask my clients to take their time with these questions. It may take a few minutes for some to answer, it may take a few weeks or more for others. Your career choice is not something to be rushed into.
Finally, if my clients would like further guidance, then I suggest the career coaching service. Here the Mumma Bird consultants will take you through detailed assessments and spend time discussing what choices are available for you.
Written by Michelle (founder and director of Mumma Bird Resume Services)