Choosing to leave a job is a major decision that shouldn't be taken lightly. However, if your job is not meeting your needs, leaving may be the best option for your career path and personal life. If you've been entertaining the idea of leaving your current position, enlisting the services of a career advisor and using the following advice can help.
How to Know if It's Time to Leave a Job
It's Routinely Stressful or Unpleasant
Temporary stress can be a normal part of work. Preparing for a presentation or a meeting with a client or an annual review can cause some level of anxiety. However, if you have constant dread going in every morning for weeks or months, this isn't simply a temporary issue to muscle your way through. If the job is negatively impacting your mental health or personal life, then it's probably time to leave.
There's No Future
If you've been thinking about leaving, you're likely unsatisfied with the position. Have a candid talk with the manager about your future at the company and whether there are opportunities for growth.
Consider where you'd like to be in one, five, and ten years. If there's no clear path to grow your career in responsibility, pay, or position, it may be time to look elsewhere.
It No Longer Fits Your Needs
A job or company that once perfectly suited you may not anymore. You may have a new manager who makes the work environment feel toxic.
You may have children to care for and need a better work-life balance. Your job security could be threatened by changes in ownership or business structure.
How to Leave a Job
After deciding to leave or, even better, when you're agonizing over whether you should, plan the transition carefully and respectfully with the help of a career coach. Precipitous moves are rarely a good idea. Rather, have a financial strategy in mind and secure another job offer first. Saving up enough money to fund the job hunt, or finding a temporary position to pay the bills while searching for that dream job is definitely a plus.
Give at least two weeks' notice to your manager so that they have some time to find a replacement. You may need to do this with a written letter of resignation.
If you have flexibility, consider staying longer to train the replacement. Try to avoid burning bridges, even if you're upset. Your old manager could be the one to provide a recommendation that connects you with a dream job.
I'm an executive coach who works with clients on leadership and transition challenges, including retiring with enthusiasm and ease.