You’ve got that restless feeling. Your job doesn’t give you that same positive feeling that it used to. Problems seem to outweigh victories. You have tried to hang in there, but it does seem like thoughts of looking for something new are increasing these days. You need a filter to help you sort out those thoughts, because maybe it’s just COVID or just a “season” of drudgery that WILL have an end and you simply need to have perseverance and ride it out. Other times, it’s time to move on, and you go into planning your exit.
Here are some filters that you can use or modify as a checklist for “should I stay or should I go?“. Maybe you can use it with friends who are wrestling with this issue.
- When no longer learning and growing. Yes, your personal growth plan is truly on you, but oftentimes your supervisor no longer gives you stretching assignments that challenge your and push you to the next level. There aren’t enough moments of WOW, it was hard, but I did it, and the organization is better for it. Things have gotten too routine and you find yourself almost bored, complacent and going through the motions.
- When you are dreading going to work. A sense of dread usually means the job is not fun anymore. Not that every part of jobs are supposed to be fun. But the positive moments are few and far between, and there’s no excitement to be drawn into. You might be also feeling that you just don’t want to do the draining parts of the job anymore, or you have experienced a long period of burnout, which alters your perspective.
- When you ethically can’t buy into the leadership’s vision or practices. This one’s a biggie. You hear of a policy or procedure or a strategic plan that has a lack of alignment with your personal core values, and by staying, you feel complicit with the vision with which you disagree. You have tried to speak up, but your voice didn’t change anything. Living in dissonance for too long hurts your productivity and starts to cause a bad attitude that you don’t want to model.
- When you feel unsupported by management. Each one of us needs a steady dose of encouragement, affirmation, recognition and emotional support. If you are “empty” due to no one above you being your cheerleader/champion, you start to shrivel up like a plant without water. Being thrown under the bus or being ignored don’t give you hope that it’s going to get any better. You must have trust to thrive.
- When the impact that you were hired to do has been accomplished. Here’s a positive one. You can go out on top because you have evaluated what you had set out to do, and you got ‘er done. And others on the team also have seen that you hit a home run. With no clear next step after that finish line, you can look for another race to run.
- When a new, long-term opportunity (in line with your values and vision) presents itself. This one may occur in conjunction with one of the other five, but it may happen suddenly and dangle itself in front of you. Think to yourself, “Will this new position allow me to contribute more to an organization, using my strengths and talents?” And, “Looking around my life for a good foundation for a jump, am I ready to take it on?”
I’m hoping that when you play the Pro’s and Con’s game, that you’ll add these criteria to your decision filter. Again, it could be a funk that you need to ride out, controlling what you can control and initiating change, or maybe all the dominoes are lining up for an exit. Either way, you have the power to KGF: Keep Growing Forward. Need a team-builder for your group, to bring it back to life during COVID restrictions? Let’s talk about a virtual or modified-LIVE team-building experience. I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org