Often conversations about personal development revolve around what you can do for yourself and how to improve things about yourself.
Here’s one not often talked about - Quit.
Not to be confused with “the grass is always greener on the other side” mentality, this is intended to look at the organization subjectively and decide if you align with the direction of the company.
This isn’t an area to complain about a lazy coworker or a strict company rule; it’s a chance to see whether you can grow professionally in the organization you reside in.
Depending on who you ask, you should get your tire alignment checked every year. Along the way, there are some cues to let you know if it should be done sooner such as the vehicle pulling in one direction, uneven tear on tires, or the steering wheel is crooked while driving.
Likewise, I’ve created a checklist to see if you’re still aligned with your company and if you need to get moving or if it’s a phase to get past.
Organizational Alignment Checklist
One of the telltale signs of needing to leave your job is that you are truly unhappy. Past the stress and bad coworkers, is work making you depressed? Accept that some days will be worse than others, but overall you shouldn’t leave your work in tears.
Nothing Left to Learn
Being bored with the work you do is an issue and could be a sign that you have nothing new to learn. If there is nothing left for you gain from your current position, it might be time to move on. Reflect on the goals you had for yourself when you started; are you on track, did you complete some of them, are you pushing your boundaries?
Set new goals for yourself in your career and see if this is the place where you can make it happen.
Does It Feel Like An Abusive Relationship?
Often being underappreciated, undervalued, and underworked are real signs of a broken relationship. Management should be able to challenge you in the right ways and provide a platform where your skills are being utilized appropriately. Being left on the wayside is a straight path to feeling underappreciated and lead back to boredom or depression.
Before you say “boy bye” make sure that you’ve also done all that you can so that you are not stereotyped into a role. Always be asking the right questions and using your voice as leverage for what role you want to play.
Depression or Anxiety Associated with Work
Everyone hates Mondays, but there’s a difference in disliking a day because it breaks your weekend and truly dreading it. If you are constantly hitting snooze, showing up late to work because that means less time in the office, maybe your hate for Mondays is more hate for work.
You shouldn’t wake up with a fear or a sense of anxiety towards your 8 hour day.
No Professional Growth
Smaller organizations may have limited vertical growth and large organizations may have impregnable glass ceilings, neither of which are ideal situations for someone wanting to grow their careers.
You Stop Caring
When your job becomes “just a job” and passion is left outside, revisit some of your personal and professional goals to make sure this job is taking you closer to your career. If you’ve turned yourself into a robot, going through motions, completing meaningless tasks, and you no longer have any f’s left to give - it might be time to cut it.
It starts off small like coming into work late or leaving early without telling a person and can lead to some major things like cutting
You Take Any Excuse to Leave the Office
Suddenly going downstairs to manually drop off mail becomes a glorious idea and getting Starbucks for the entire floor seems like a cheap thrill. Any excuse to leave your desk or the office entirely becomes your number one priority. This might be a sign that you need to reconsider where you spend 40+ hours a week.
The Company’s Values Conflict with Your Own
Some jobs compartmentalize a person so well, it’s hard to see what direction the company is going in. Take a step back, look holistically at the organization and make sure that it’s mission and goals are what you want. Look at their website, changes, additions, removals in policies, new values - are you still proud to say you work there?
Maybe it’s time to see your local car shop to get those tires aligned and maybe it’s time for a drastic work change.
Professional growth starts from within and can only happen in a place that fosters growth. If your job isn’t cutting it, say “boy bye”. You haven’t failed, you’ve realized that your skills are better suited elsewhere.
Friends don't let friends be miserable at their job; give them a little nudge by sharing this post with them.