4 Areas to Explore Before You Put in Your Two Weeks Notice
Working a dead-end job can be miserable. When we feel drained and burned out by a role that no longer suits us (or maybe never suited us), a dark shadow can cast itself across an otherwise enjoyable life.
Many clients reach out to me for help discerning whether or not now is the time to leave their jobs. Below I wanted to outline some areas for you to explore if you are in the midst of a similar life turning point.
Whether my clients have another career path in mind or just know their current role doesn’t fit, they want a clear process to assess when to move onto the next position. Sometimes the reasons to leave are clear. For example, the job doesn’t pay enough to make ends meet. Or maybe the person hopes to move to a new city and telecommuting isn't an option. Maybe they are facing a toxic work environment they have no hand in changing. These are easily identifiable reasons why an employee may begin to start forming an exit strategy.
But more often than not, I find clients don’t have a strong basis to change roles. They can only describe feeling unhappy or stuck in a cycle of exhaustion. Some may complain about coworkers or bosses but most just say there has to be something more. This is where I step in to help through the LifePlan process. Because if you want to confidently walk away from a good salary or health benefits in pursuit of a more fulfilling job, you’ll need more than a vague sense of “this isn’t what I’m here to do.” You need perspective and a filter.
Accurately diagnosing why you dislike your job is critical. If you are not clear on why you are leaving, you are at risk of repeating the same patterns in your next position. You might also be prematurely stepping away from what could be an otherwise healthy work experience with the right minor changes.
Uncovering the reasons behind your discontentment at work takes time and an objective evaluation. However, there are a few areas you can begin to consider now to get started on the path to vocational freedom.
Here are four aspects of work you need to consider before you decide to quit:
1. Synergy with your values
If your job conflicts with your core values and beliefs, you will inevitably feel an internal dissonance each day that you walk into the office. Tom Paterson, creator of the LifePlan process calls our core values the “riverbanks" of our life. They let us know our life is flowing in the right direction. When our job does not uphold our values, we tend to feel anxious or depressed. For example, it's a value conflict if you believe in generosity but your organization constantly raises prices while reducing customer value. Or perhaps stability is important to you but upper management likes a rotating change of leadership and teams throughout the company. You might end each week feeling insecure and unsettled.
2. Utilization of your skills
Not every job will make use of the wide variety of talents you possess. But if your primary strengths are not at all recognized or put to use within your organization you may be thinking about putting in your notice. When you are not working from a position of excellence, using your unique talents, you might feel bored, overwhelmed or inadequate. I hear this issue a lot from people who are considering an entrepreneurial path. One client told me, “Chanel, I can do this job in my sleep. But just because I can do it, I don't know if I should do it. I have abilities that are not being put to use in my company. Maybe it's time to start my own thing." Be sure to read my overview on talents to learn more about the importance of knowing your core talents.
3. Alignment with your comfort zone
When you show up to work each day, do you feel like your role allows you to make your highest contribution? Do you feel like you’re working in your sweet spot? When your daily tasks are aligned with your thinking wavelength and wiring, you often feel you can get lost in what you're doing without feeling stressed. In a LifePlan we assess how your mind naturally operates so you can add the most value in your position. We also use this same information to determine exactly what career path would be more fulfilling for you. For example, if you’re someone who senses new opportunities all the time, you might add the most value in a sales role that requires taking calculated risks. If you feel on fire from routine, you might be best at maintaining the systems that keep business humming. Knowing how you think, not just what you do is important. It’s also useful to know your sweet spot in terms of the kinds of environments where you feel most comfortable. We can assess this for you in greater detail but in short you want to distinguish between interdependent work settings vs independent work settings.
4. Your level of motivation
Do you jump out of bed and think, “Wow, I am so lucky I get to do this work each day” before your feet ever hit the ground? If not, it’s likely your career is not catering to your passion and heart space. You may feel competent and even well-compensated at work, but at the end of the day, you just don’t care about what you're doing. It may not feel like you're making any meaningful difference in the world you can feel a perpetual angst seeking something more. Here is how one client recently described her job to me. “I don't like my job. I’m not motivated or inspired by it. I feel like I’ve just resigned myself to this is how it’s going to be.”
If you are considering a career change or thinking of quitting your job, take some time to consider these areas before making a decision. Grab my “Should I Quit My Job” Worksheet to begin processing some of these key questions. If clarity around this decision is critical for you right now, I strongly suggest you schedule a coaching session or LifePlan Intensive before making any major moves. You spend the majority of your waking hours at work. The choices around what you do for a living are important, and I want you to set you up for maximum success in this important life bucket.
Has this resonated with you? If so, schedule a complimentary consultation call with me so I can help you discern what to do next.