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It is not unusual to occasionally feel a little ‘flat’ at the thought of returning to the office on Monday, especially if you’ve had a top weekend or are returning from an amazing holiday. However, if these feelings start to creep into a consistent dread, stress, lack of sleep or even reduced performance at work……you may feel the only way out is to walk into your manager’s office, resignation in hand and quit.
It’s a tricky one. Very few people can just quit their job. Only a small minority will have the financial buffer needed to take adequate time out to find the best fit for them – most candidates are left rushing to take whatever job they can secure quickly. In addition, the uncertainty of no income or routine can make things worse.
Many a decision made in haste can have consequences and a poorly planned approach could make an already stressful situation worse.
So, what can you do?
You need to understand what is really going on. Have you always felt this way about your job or has something changed? Take some quiet time to carefully consider the root cause, step outside of your emotions and challenge your thoughts; is it your routine? Does the culture clash with your values? Are you feeling trapped and frustrated in the absence of a promotion or workable plan for career progression?
Once you have more clarity regarding what isn’t working for you, ask yourself; is there anything I can do to help the situation? Are things really as bad as they seem? Am I inadvertently making the situation worse? For example, have you made your intention to progress within the company known to your line manager? Have you asked why you were not considered for promotion?
For some, unease may be caused by a fear of job security. You may feel your industry is failing to bounce back after the pandemic and redundancy is looking likely. Whatever the cause, the first step is to be clear on what is causing your anxiety and explore if there are any steps you can take to improve the situation. You may not be able to eliminate your problem completely – but you might be able to make your work environment a little more comfortable whilst you focus on your long-term plan.
That old adage a problem shared is a problem halved still deserves notice. Talking to someone about your reasons for disliking work can often bring new perspectives and solutions. Start with a trusted friend or colleague who will be honest and reflect objectively on your situation.
After considering your situation objectively and truly understanding what isn’t working in your current role, we would advise talking to your line manager. If you are bored with your existing work, there may be other work available that would stretch and develop your skills. Your line manager may also have ideas regarding how to fill any gaps in your existing skill set that are holding you back from progressing.
If you structure your argument so that it demonstrates how fixing your current circumstances will add value to the organisation, it is unlikely your manager will have a negative response.
When was your last holiday? Employment contracts are designed with holiday leave for a very good reason. Intense work without a break can lead to fatigue, illness and impact our mental wellness. Taking yourself out of a stressful situation for a few days can help you to refocus, better manage your situation and often provide the courage needed to take positive action. This doesn’t have to be an expensive holiday abroad, it just needs to be away from work.
If after reflecting, talking and taking some time out you still feel desperate to quit, consider your finances carefully – can you really afford to simply walk away?
Whilst some people are comfortable living without a regular income and can ride through a period of uncertainty, others need the consistent salary deposit to fulfil basic human needs like food, shelter and security. Quitting under the latter situation leads individuals to take the first job offer that comes along, sometimes putting them in a work environment that fails to address the core issues in their previous job.
At Halliday Marx, we advise our candidates to throw their energy into thinking about what they would like from a new role and the steps they might take to get there. Having a new focus and taking positive action towards their goal can really support a candidate in constructively managing their existing unhappy situation without the risk of doing anything too drastic. Many candidates who quit without a plan can also struggle with the lack of routine and purpose – what feels liberating at first can swiftly develop into fear and uncertainty.
In essence, the best reason to quit your current job is always because you’ve found a new one that you’re excited about.
To get help with seeing the next step, make contact with a specialist search and recruitment consultancy, like Halliday Marx, who can provide a detailed insight into potential opportunities, organisations and industries where the grass may truly be greener. Simply having this regular communication and support can help in making you feel like you are progressing towards a happier, healthier career.
We all need to pay our bills but you shouldn’t feel consistently down about your job. You owe it to yourself to utilise your talents, feel satisfied and fulfilled – but don’t rush, play it smart. Take some time to reflect so that you can clearly define the issues impacting your happiness, share your concerns with a good friend and if possible, your line manager. Use your annual leave to take a proper break and get in touch with an experienced search and recruitment specialist, like Halliday Marx, who can advise you on the best opportunities for your skill set and aspirations.
Feeling stuck? If you’re looking for your next role, get in touch with our specialist team today on 020 7096 8200 or email us at [email protected]
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