The decision to leave your job behind and move on to something else is always a big one, whether you are climbing higher on the career ladder or moving in a completely different professional direction.
A job is not only a source of financial stability; it also represents an established familiarity of setting. Quitting your job is a big step, especially if you don’t have a solid, confirmed plan in place for what happens next.
Before taking the plunge to leave your workplace, here are five things you ought to consider:
Think about what it is that you actually dislike about your job and clarify in your mind your key motivators for leaving. Is it the behaviour of your boss or an individual or the actual nature of the work itself?
If your issues are colleague-related, consider whether you’ve done all that you can to sort them out and ask yourself whether you need to go to such extreme lengths as giving up your job because of these issues.
Do you enjoy the office culture where you work or is this one of the sticking points for you? If you love the office nights out, free food and general friendly atmosphere, consider whether you would sacrifice this in the future for work that you prefer.
This may impact your job search and could make you pause for thought with the realization that where you work is actually unusually fun (or not!).
If this job is something that will be crucial to your CV, helping to elevate you in the professional world and acting as a stepping stone to your next career, consider whether you’ve really been there long enough to make it count.
Whilst sticking out three long, hard months until the end of your probation period may feel like forever, it isn’t really long enough to justify saying that you’ve learned all you could with that company and are now fully equipped to move on. Six months is the bare minimum for the time you should aim to spend in a role in order for it to be a formative part of your employment history in the long run.
If you are currently engaged in the work that you’re doing and find it interesting and rewarding, consider whether you really do want to leave simply in order to take a break from the current environment.
Talk to your supervisor if it is only certain aspects of the job that are becoming tedious – you may well be able to inject new life into these parts. It can be a real task to find a job where you enjoy the work, so think hard before giving up such a role.
The biggest question you should ask yourself, once you’ve considered the ins and outs of why you want to leave your current job, is where you’re going next. Once you’re set on leaving it can be hard to remain focused and motivated at work. Try to maintain your drive and standard of work and try not to let on your plans to leave until you’ve found yourself a new position and have actually handed in your resignation.
Leaving work to go travelling can be a brilliant option – as long as you have financial security. If you can line up another job before you leave, have thoroughly considered your options and see this as the best course of action, go for it!
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Alexandra Jane writes graduate careers advice for Inspiring Interns, who specialize in matching candidates to their dream internship. Check out their graduate jobs listings for roles.