As tempting as it may be to drop everything and walk out of your cubicle, it’s important to ask yourself a few questions first.
We’ve all been there. You’re stuck at your desk working on a project that has become the bane of your existence, your office mate in the cubicle one over has been loudly talking on the phone for the past hour, someone behind you is tapping their pencil repeatedly…. you can’t take it anymore. You start thinking about what you’re really doing in your office and start wondering if you’d be better off somewhere else. Before you make any rash decisions, ask yourself a few questions.
Why do you feel the need to quit?
Maybe you’ve outgrown your position and need more responsibility. On the other hand, maybe you’re uncomfortable or unhappy and you’re looking for an out. It’s important to assess what you’re feeling and work through the reason that you believe you need to make a change.
If you’re sitting at your job contemplating quitting for six months and you can’t seem to get it out of your head, assess the situation and really think about what if the driving force behind your desire to make a change. Sometimes it’s a situation where you feel that you are in a toxic work environment, that you need more or less structure, are not making enough money, or are ready for more responsibility. When you start working through your complaints, you’ll be able to gauge whether or not the change is merited.
Have I done everything I can to make it work?
It’s easy to get frustrated. Sometimes when something isn’t working, it’s easier to think about dropping it all together instead of focusing on how you can make it work. You chose this job / project for a reason and at one point you liked it. Have you made a list of all of your complaints and gone through them to see if any of them are preventable or fixable? Have you talked to your supervisor or manager?
Sometimes things change and it’s for the better; it can take a bit of adjusting, but you will work through it. Other times you sit there and cannot see any good coming from the situation and it doesn’t mesh with your position or views. Consider being nimble and thinking on your toes about how you can make some minor changes and find success or happiness. If nothing is going to change (no matter how many times you tweak your own behavior) then maybe it’s time to move on.
What’s your game plan after you quit? Is it going to be worth it?
Sometimes quitting means having more energy or time to do something that you are really passionate about. There are so many roles out there that may be fulfilling in one way or another to you. Quitting can open the door to new opportunities or resources that better suit your outlook or goals professionally.
If you thrive in a fast paced environment where you are working in the field all day and right now you’re shoved into the corner cubicle and never make it out of the office, quitting may allow you to take a job where you can be more mobile. If you work in a very small office and would like to interact with more people, quitting and starting a job in a very large office may be beneficial in the sense that you have something to gain by being around more colleagues.
Is it them or is it you?
Now, we don’t necessarily mean are you at fault for your own unhappiness. What we mean is that when you stand back and critically look at the situation, is your employer not the right fit for you or have things changed and you no longer connect with the position you hold or the company you are with.
For example, are you sitting at your desk asking for more responsibility, getting into bickering matches with your manager because they are micromanaging, and finding your work to be boring? Maybe you’re the one that has changed and you’ve outgrown your position. When you start to think about things critically, you can stand back and ask yourself if there is a way to overcome this obstacle or if you’ve hit a dead end and need to make another attempt elsewhere. Before you decide to leave, consider if there are other roles within the company or if there is a position that you would like to hold at the company.
On the other side, are your coworkers doing something that bothers you or do you not like the way new management has structured your workplace? Is it something that you can overcome? Having a conversation about what you’re unhappy about or seeing if there is a workaround may help ease tension.
Consider how quitting will impact your lifestyle.
Can you afford to quit? Are you okay mixing up your entire schedule and starting fresh somewhere new? It’s crucial to take into consideration how quitting will impact you financially and that it will turn your current lifestyle upside down (for better or worse). This is especially important if you don’t have a backup plan or another career lined up. Finding a new position can be difficult so having all your bases covered is a big deal!