When to Quit Your Job: A Guide

Rotman Management Magazine - - NEWS -

One of life’s big­gest de­ci­sions is when to leave a job that just isn’t work­ing out. If you’re con­tem­plat­ing this op­tion, here are five ques­tions to help you de­cide. If your answer to two or more of these is No, it might be time to make an exit.

1. Do you want to be in this job on your next work an­niver­sary?

Peo­ple are most likely to leave a job on their one-year an­niver­sary. The sec­ond most likely time? Their two-year an­niver­sary. The third? You get the idea. If you dread the idea of be­ing at your job on your next work an­niver­sary, start look­ing now.

2. Is your cur­rent job both de­mand­ing and within your con­trol?

The most ful­fill­ing jobs share a com­mon trait: They prod us to work at our high­est level, but in a way that we, not some­one else, con­trol. Jobs that are de­mand­ing but don’t of­fer au­ton­omy burn us out. Jobs that of­fer au­ton­omy but lit­tle chal­lenge bore us. And jobs that are nei­ther de­mand­ing nor in our con­trol are the worst of all. If your job doesn’t pro­vide both chal­lenge and au­ton­omy and there’s noth­ing you can do to make things bet­ter, con­sider a move.

3. Does your boss al­low you to do your best work? Robert Sut­ton

Stan­ford Pro­fes­sor has re­searched the qual­i­ties that make some­one worth work­ing for: If your boss has your back, takes re­spon­si­bil­ity in­stead of blam­ing oth­ers, en­cour­ages your ef­forts but also gets out of your way, and dis­plays a sense of hu­mour rather than a rag­ing tem­per, you’re prob­a­bly in a good place; if your boss is the op­po­site, watch out—and maybe get out.

4. Does your daily work align with your long-term goals?

Am­ple re­search shows that when your in­di­vid­ual goals align with those of your or­ga­ni­za­tion, you’re hap­pier and more pro­duc­tive. So take a mo­ment and list your top two or three goals for the next five and ten years. If your cur­rent em­ployer can help you reach them, great; if not, think about an end­ing.

-Daniel H. Pink, from When:the­sci­en­tific­se­cret­sof Per­fect­tim­ing (River­head Books, 2018)

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