There are very few things that are as exciting as starting a new job. New opportunities have a way of breathing energy and hope into your spirit. You applied and got the job because your experience and skills were a match for the role, and you accepted the role because you thought that it would help you to achieve your personal goals. As time goes on, you may question whether your company is still a good fit. Maybe you are no longer learning in the role, feel drained at the end of every workday, do not enjoy the culture, or feel like you are not advancing as quickly as you expected. If you are feeling this way about your job; you are not alone, quiet quitting is a hashtag for a reason. Taking time to reflect on the 3P’s of passion, pay and potential can help you decide if it is the right time to leave your current company.
The first thing to consider is whether you have a passion for the work that you are doing. We all desire to be good at what we do for a living. In the short term, talented people can be successful at jobs that they do not have passion for based on their skills, but over time it is difficult to grind away at a job for a long time if you do not have passion for what you are doing. Your passion could come from the work that you do, the people you do it with or the people you do it for. As you consider leaving a company, spend time determining if the work energizes you. If you are coming home from work every day drained, and dread going back to work after you had a few days off, you have lost passion for what you do, and should consider doing something else. The more that your job requires you to think, the more important that passion is to you being successful. It is easier to will yourself to do a physical task that requires compliance, than to perform thinking or creative tasks, especially when your mind and heart are not fully engaged. To excel as a knowledge worker, you will do your best, and be your best when your work aligns with your passions.
Next you should consider your potential for advancement, along with your company’s sustainability. Is your current job a steppingstone to another role? If this is the case, before you leave for a new opportunity, it is important to understand if leaving will delay your career advancement. If you review LinkedIn, you can see examples of individuals that move from company to company every few months, without changing their management level. These individuals slow their career growth by not being in one place long enough to get the experience necessary to qualify for the higher-level roles they desire. To grow your career, you typically must stay in one place long enough to build the trust of your leaders and gain the developmental experience that will prepare you for future opportunities. You should also consider the sustainability of the organization. Growth companies provides opportunities for career development and advancement but carry risk if the company is not financially viable. Mature companies tend to have more stability but can have less room for advancement. Declining companies carry the most risk, since sinking margins, and decline revenue tend to lead companies to cut labor to maintain profitability. Even if you are not looking to move into higher roles of management, it is still important to consider company sustainability. Too often employees stay too long in companies that are struggling and find themselves caught off guard by downsizings.
Pay tends to be a big reason people stay in bad situations. It can be a blow to the ego to take a job that requires a pay cut. In addition, depending on your job, and the time of year, leaving could result in a loss of bonus pay. It makes sense that pay would play a huge factor in your decision to stay with a company, since your original decision to work for a company included considerations over the amount of money you would make. The reality is that if you are on the bottom end of the pay spectrum, taking a pay cut could impact your happiness outside of work more significantly than any upside joy that you will gain by changing roles or companies. All decisions have trade-offs, and it is important to consider what you will gain, and what you will lose from a job change. If pay is the only reason that you are electing to stay with a company, I strongly encourage you to exploring leaving, especially if you can afford a reduction in pay. I have seen people be miserable at work because they were unwilling to explore leaving their job because they feared making less money. Staying in toxic environment can have a significant impact to your health and your personal relationships. Over time the cost of broken relationships, and bad health can cost you more than the money you earn from staying in an unpleasant work environment. You may also find during your job search that you underestimated your ability to earn equal if not more pay with another company. The current labor shortage is providing opportunities for workers to gain higher salaries because labor inflation is out pacing most companies annual pay increases.
In summary, asking yourself about the 3 P’s, purpose, pay and potential will go a long way to helping you determine if you need to look for a new job. The average American worker spends ¼ of their week at work, and this amount approaches one-third for private sector salaried workers. At the end of the day, working for a company should be a mutually beneficial relationship. Just like any relationship, if you find yourself giving more than you are getting, it might be a suitable time to leave. One tip I frequently give clients prior to them leaving a job is to have a candid conversation with their leaders around the reason that they are thinking about leaving. Depending on your relationship with your supervisor, this can be a very direct conversation where you state that you are thinking about leaving, or it can be more subtle where you simply communicate dissatisfaction with your current work situations. By communicating your concerns, you provide your employer the opportunity to remedy the relationship, prior to you leaving. If you have voiced your concerns, and your employer has not taken steps to mend the relationship, then it is a good time to seek employment elsewhere.
Dorian Cunion is an Executive Business Coach with your Path Coaching and Consulting. He specializes in coaching service for managers, executives and small business owner.
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