Are you unhappy at work?

by | 02.12.21

Should you leave your job? It’s a question that has passed through all of our minds at one time or another whether you are considering leaving a new job that’s not living up to expectations or leaving a job you have been in for a long time. Simply asking yourself whether you are happy in your current job is probably a little simplistic. Most people feel unhappy at work at some point. It’s perfectly normal to have emotional ups and down when it comes to your job satisfaction. So how do you know whether you should start looking for a new job? Here are some things you can do to make sure that you’re not acting impulsively:

Understand why you are unhappy

Make sure you’re honest with yourself. What’s changed? Is it something outside of your control, or is it something more fundamental about yourself? If you can understand what’s really going on, you’ll make a better decision and possibly decide if it is really the job and there is nothing that can improve the situation. On the other hand, if you love your job but you want more of a better life balance you need to talk to your manager about the situation.

Is the source of your unhappiness temporary or permanent?

Sometimes these things are not that clear cut so a temporary situation may be worth riding out. For example, a downturn in the economy that affects your company’s business may improve within a short period of time. On the other hand, there are some trends that may only become worse. It’s important that you are honest with yourself about whether things are likely to really change. If you feel they won’t, then maybe it is the right time to move on.

Write down the pros and cons of staying in your job

Sometimes putting pen to paper can help make sense of all the noise in your head. There can be a great clarity in writing things down. Are you bored with your day-to-day job? Are you simply not passionate anymore about what you do? If you feel that everything you write in the ‘negative’ column has to do with changes in you – as opposed to the job it self. You may want consider staying with your employer and simply asking for more responsibility. On the other hand if you feel you are being treated unfairly you may want to consider changing departments rather than your job.

Check out the job market

Just because you are not sure whether you are leaving your current job or not doesn’t mean you can’t start a preliminary job search just in case you see something perfect being advertised. You can also go for interviews while you are trying to decide whether to stay or whether to go.

Do your research

If you are going to move forward and leave your job, you will need to have a plan. How long will the job search take? Days, weeks, months? What are the other companies and positions you are likely to end up in? What are those other employers and jobs going to be like? If you are unhappy with the type of job you are in what are the chances that another Company will actually make you happier? You may need to consider changing your career and returning to education in order to do this. These are definitely things to consider.

Talk it over with your friends and family

Your choices rarely only impact you. If you are unhappy where you are and are job hunting this will be most certainly affect your family. Whether you’re the breadwinner in your family or not there are financial implications to consider. There are also potential changes in your work-life balance. So, you need to talk to people who matter – no person is an island.

Be aware there are no guarantees in life

If you have decided to take the next step and make a career change or look for a new job, be realistic about what’s ahead. While you might feel you are making the best decision and that maybe even your dream is ahead, changes can be stressful and may not always turn out the way you expect. Sometimes even the best-laid plan doesn’t work out, so you must be aware that change may come with some unexpected surprises – good or bad.

Is there something you always wanted to do?

Its great to have a passion especially if you follow it. But not everyone can make their passion their career. Make sure that your passion would make a possible career with which you’re comfortable before you dive in. Can you make an income? Can you support yourself? Will you be able to earn a living? Just because you leave your current job doesn’t mean that you’ll end up with your dream job next week. Are you mentally ready to take the next step that might not be the right one to find out? What will you do if you don’t like your new job?

Are your prepared for potential pay cut?

When you leave a job for a new one, you’re not guaranteed to make more money. Is this something you are okay with?

Are you prepared to make a sideways move?

Again, when you leave a job for a new one, you’re not guaranteed to get a promotion. You might need to make a sideways move. Are you okay with that?

Is this a step towards your ultimate career goals?

Take a minute to think about your ultimate goal and then consider whether leaving your current job will bring you closer to that or steer you off track.

What aspects of your job don’t you want to give up?

There must be some elements of your job that you really enjoy. Make a list of these and consider whether you will be able to replicate these in another position. There are some things that are irreplaceable for instance a good boss, lovely work mates. Think about it, will you get these again in a new role?

What aspects of your job don’t you want elsewhere?

Again, consider what aspects of your current job that you don’t you like. Aspects that you’d like to avoid in your next role if possible. Things like no parking, open plan environment, late nights etc. Check these things out before you move on.

Is the time right?

Is right now the best time for you to leave? Are you up for a promotion or a title change soon? Would it make more sense to wait a few months until then? Make sure you speak to your boss before you decide to take the jump.

So, there you go, if you decide to leave your job you need to start looking as soon as possible. Finding a new job is no easy task, so if you’ve decided getting a new job is the right move for you start looking ASAP.

Good Luck

Angela Burton