What continually restores my faith in humanity are the mixed feelings most people have when they’re thinking about leaving a job—even when the reasons to do so are completely reasonable.
You may have already written down the pros and cons of the situation. Your logical mind needs no convincing. And yet, actually converting those reasons into action can be difficult. These are, after all, real people you’ve built relationships with, and you don’t want to alienate them. On the other hand, you can’t procrastinate for too long because the window for maximum returns is always closing.
Asking the Right Questions
So with that in mind, I created the following questionnaire that will help you resolve head and heart when it comes to deciding if you should leave a company. I recommend setting a timer for no more than 20 minutes for this exercise. Be brutally honest with your responses.
- What are the three most important elements of a fulfilling career?
- How closely does my current job match up to those three elements? Attach a score between 1 and 100 to each of these elements to show how satisfied you are in those areas at your current position.
- What are three actions I can take right now that would increase those scores? Nothing is off the table here, even if it seems improbable. Dream hard and challenge your internal biases!
- What can I do better than anyone else?
- On a scale of 0 to 100, how important is it for me to magnify the scale and impact of this action?
- What emotion do I want to feel at work?
- Is there a disconnect between what I currently experience at work and how I want to feel at work? Answer yes or no.
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Reviewing the Answers
This questionnaire should force you to dig deep and get a fresh perspective on the situation. After finishing the exercise, you’ll have written evidence of what works and what doesn’t. Hold yourself accountable to these responses. You owe it to yourself to advocate for what you want in your career.
If You Decide to Go
There are plenty of ways to quietly start putting out feelers and exploring new roles. Become more active on LinkedIn. Attend industry events, virtual and on-site. Join a board of directors. Practice authentic networking and build meaningful relationships with your colleagues and professional contacts.
You’ll never have more leverage than you will right now, without the added pressure of being between jobs—so take advantage of that! Spend time finding a position that you’ll enjoy.
If You Want to Stay
If your current position aligns with everything you want out of a career, don’t let yourself grow complacent. Follow through on the actions you outlined in the third question: figure out three steps you can take that will improve your situation. There’s always room for advancement—don’t stop hustling!
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