It goes without saying that many people are unhappy with their job.
There are various reasons for job dissatisfaction, including:
- Little chance of advancement
- Not making what you think you are worth
- Unreasonable management
- Lots of responsibilities (with little help from others)
- Overall low morale
These are all valid reasons. As a matter of fact, I have encountered every last one of them at some point in my career journey.
I have a history of being a job hopper. There. I admit it. I have changed jobs more times that I would like to admit in my relatively short, post-college career history. As a matter of fact, I was more stable (i.e. I didn’t job hop) before earning my degrees than I have been since. I was still very young then, with fewer responsibilities, and didn’t worry much about the items on the list above.
I started working when I was 15 years old, as a Sandwich Artist for Subway (yes, that was my real title). I worked there for 4 years, up until I started my Freshman year in college. During college, I got my first professional job as a bank teller, where I stayed for almost four years. My next job came shortly after graduating from college; I worked for a government agency, where I stayed for nearly four years. And, yes, the four years pattern is purely coincidence!
My tendency to change jobs frequently began after I earned my graduate degree. I found myself in a perpetual state of dissatisfaction and often made emotional, hasty decisions to change jobs. I often felt like I wasn’t valued and found myself constantly striving for something better…more money, more autonomy, more respect.
Looking back, I can see that there were things that I could have done differently that may have made those jobs more appealing, and even situations where I could have actually overcome the obstacles that I was facing.
A Word of Caution
I would like to clarify that this post may not be for you if you are certain that you have received a clear message from God to leave your job in order to do something that He has called you to do. There are many examples of this; however, a common example involves people who choose to leave their career for full-time ministry.
I firmly believe that those situations exist and that God will take care of you for being obedient to His will for your life. I also believe that you must be very careful, being sure that you are not mistaking God’s will for your own. I would encourage you to pray and seek Godly counsel from a person you trust.
This post will also not apply in a situation where you are being harassed, or otherwise harmed at work, or are being forced to do something that threatens your integrity. No one would expect you to tough it out in such a situation.
This is about your desire to quit a job that you are not happy with, and how taking a few things into consideration may change your perspective and turn things around for the better.
Here are 5 reasons not to quit your job…yet:
1. You haven’t expressed your concerns to your supervisor
Often times, we are intimidated by our superiors in the workplace. Of course, there are supervisors who are quite intimidating. However, the Bible has something to say about this.
Proverbs 29:25 says: Fear of man is a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.
As thriving women, we cannot allow the fear of how a boss may respond to keep us from standing up for ourselves and expressing our concerns. You are a professional, having been hired for your skills, knowledge, and experience. As a valuable asset to your organization, you have a right to express yourself when something is not working well.
Consider making a list of your concerns prior to your meeting. Keep your composure and stick to the facts, presenting clear, identifiable reasons for your dissatisfaction.
2. You need more experience in your field
The reality is that, in many career fields, your experience is just as important as degrees and certifications. Employers tend to favor applicants who are not as likely to struggle with grasping the fundamental aspects of the job because of their lack of hands-on experience.
If you have been blessed with a job despite your rookie status, think twice about leaving before you have gained the experience needed to make you marketable in your field. Finding a job can be very difficult, and is especially challenging if you are inexperienced. Although it may not be your ideal job, hanging in there will make you a more attractive prospect to future employers who are looking for experienced candidates.
3. You don’t have a plan
I know that there will be people who disagree with this. There are many stories on the Internet of people who quit their job with no backup plan and came out on top.
I have actually met people who have simply walked away from a job that they loathed. They did not have a plan – no new job lined up, no savings, and no idea when another opportunity would come along. Despite not having a plan, a few of them were able to quickly find another job before experiencing the challenges of unemployment. However, most of them struggled for months, even years, applying for dozens of jobs, going on multiple interviews, and burning through their savings, that is, if they had any savings to burn through.
The people who were able to bounce back quickly are the exception, not the rule.
The reality is that most of us have bills that are due on a monthly basis; your financial responsibilities do not change when you lose your job. This means that the longer you go without employment, the greater your risk of going into debt and hurting your financial stability. Unemployment benefits (if you are eligible for them) are usually only a percentage of your previous wage and are a short-term benefit. Also consider the emotional toll that unemployment takes on you, putting you in a constant state of worry and anxiety.
Unless you have significant savings, and no debt or no financial obligations, think twice before quitting a job without a plan.
4. You have not considered other benefits and opportunities where you are
There may be opportunities and benefits at your job that you may not have factored into your decision to leave.
Have you considered applying for a different position at your company? Maybe your issue is with your current role, and a new opportunity may be what you need. Many employers are happy to support a lateral move or, even better, a promotion for current employees.
Employers also invest in their employees’ continuing education, providing in-house training programs that will help you advance with the company. Many also offer tuition reimbursement for employees interested in returning to school. This may be just what you need to increase your knowledge, skills, and earning potential, both for your current job and future opportunities as well.
What about the benefits to your personal life? Is your current job close to home, providing a stress-free commute? Are your work hours ideal, allowing you to maintain a work-life balance? When we are unhappy with the specific duties and responsibilities of a job, we sometimes forget about the extra perks that we have grown accustomed to that impact our lives outside of work. Sure, you may be able to find another job with similar advantages. However, you will be competing with many other people looking for similar benefits.
It is important to remember that your job may offer more benefits than your paycheck and health insurance. Those perks may be just what you need in your current stage of life, motivating you to hang in there a while longer.
5. You lack work-life balance
Before you know it, your job can begin to consume every aspect of your life, making work-life balance non-existent.
Many of us become disillusioned, equating having no personal life to speak of with ambition. We believe that if we pull all-nighters at the office or forfeit our weekends to attend company events, we will get ahead quickly in our career.
However, this often leads to bitterness and overwhelm. When these feelings set in, you may decide to abruptly throw in the towel and walk away from the job. Even if there are some aspects of it you like, they are overshadowed by burnout caused by taking on more responsibilities than you should.
The truth is, what you may need to do instead is take a step back, evaluating the amount of time you are giving your job compared to the time you devote to your personal life. Having a talk with your supervisor about lightening your load may be what you need to improve your work-life balance.
How many vacation days do you have saved up? Are you an employee who never time off? Maybe a vacation, or stay-cation, is what you need to clear your head and have a little fun.
If you are lacking a social life or interests outside of work, be intentional about finding activities that you enjoy. Consider a fitness class or networking events. Plan weekly dinners with your friends. Meetup is a great community where you can sign up to join groups consisting of people who share your interests.
Consider Your Options
The decision to quit a job should not be taken lightly. There are many factors that you must consider before deciding to make such a significant change.
It is important to weigh the negatives that are leading you toward resigning; however, it is equally important to examine the positives, and possibilities, that you may not have considered.
If you are considering making such a move, I hope this article gives you some things to think about to help you make the choice that is best for you.