Quitting? Make sure it’s for the right reasons

Edward Chalmers

Each of us sometimes questions why we devote so much time, energy and expertise to our current job. We wonder whether it’s time for a change and we begin to read employment ads or dream of starting our own business. Before deciding to submit your resignation, examine if your job is fulfilling your needs.

It’s not always about money

Job satisfaction is rarely measured by the size of the paycheck, although above average remuneration can make less than stellar working conditions a little more bearable. In an office environment, opportunities for advancement and recognition of each individual’s contributions and talents are big influences on whether a job is fulfilling. Most persons will accept a certain amount of pressure if they feel recognised and respected. How well an employee relates to the company’s leadership style and corporate values are also key factors in job satisfaction. Fair rewards in terms of salary and benefits, good working conditions and appropriate employee empowerment are all strong motivators that promote job satisfaction.

Do you enjoy going to work?

When it’s a real struggle getting up every day, it could be an indicator that you’re stressed, burnt out or unfulfilled. Good working conditions, the camaraderie of a team environment and duties you enjoy will make it more fun to go to work. Feeling inspired and energised by your boss and the company’s leadership is even better.

Is your work stimulating?

Everyone needs challenges and rewards in their day-to-day work. If you don’t feel you’re making a difference, perhaps you could expand your role by asking for more responsibilities. Smart bosses encourage their staff to try new tasks and learn new skills, even if they might make a mistake. Look at the things you enjoy about your work and offer to take on additional duties to increase your sense of purpose.

Do you feel respected and valued?

When a company’s corporate culture incorporates management listening to their staff and celebrating successes together, people will find their jobs more fulfilling. New ideas and well thought out, concrete suggestions to improve productivity, increase sales and reduce customer complaints ought to be encouraged. Workers at every level need to feel that their efforts are important. Too much unpaid overtime with no thanks and no end in sight is discouraging.

Does your job fit in with your 5-year plan?

Evaluate your long-term goals and look for the growth potential in your current job. Seek out learning opportunities, from company-sponsored courses and seminars to job shadowing to working on additional projects. Find a mentor in a more senior manager whose style and skills you admire. Concentrate on creating a network of allies that will help you as you climb the corporate ladder. When you look at the big picture and work toward your career goals, you might see how your present position is fulfilling a need.

Be open to change

We’re not stuck in one company for our entire career like our grandfathers were. We have options, and there’s no dishonour in changing jobs in pursuit of our career goals. Our priorities and interests evolve and change, and we often develop new skills that might be better suited to a different type of position or business. But before you decide to make a career change, be sure it’s the job that’s the problem, not your own attitude. Otherwise, the feeling of being unfulfilled will follow you.