If you hate your job, quitting is not necessarily the best thing you can do right now. Unless your job is unsafe, or you are being asked to do unethical things, you’re much better staying in your current position while you decide on your best course of action.
Here are three things to think about before you hand in your notice.
- What’s most important to you?
If you’re unhappy in your job, it can be difficult to focus on anything else. But it’s worth taking a step back to see what it is that is making you unhappy. And to do this, it can be helpful to assess what motivates you at work. What salary suits your needs and aspirations? Do you want to be a high flyer, or do you want a better work/life balance so there’s time for your family or interests?
If you’re committed to social justice, then working for a big multinational company might not be a good fit for you.
- Make a plan
Set yourself up for the job you want. It’s almost a cliché, but you are better off not dropping your current work until you have another position lined up. But make sure it’s the right one. If you have your mind set on leaving the job you’re miserable in, look at the life goals and values you outlined in step 1. Think about what sort of work would be a better fit. Then make a plan to get there.
Treat it like a work project, do your research and set some milestones. If you want to retrain for a different industry, set the wheels in motion to get the skills or qualifications you need to make the jump. Be ready to take the opportunities when they come.
- Get some good advice
Whether you decide to stay or go, having a mentor or a coach will help you in your career and your professional development. Find someone whose judgment you trust, who understands your industry and who can help you make some long-term decisions.
More experienced colleagues and peers can also be a good source for feedback.
Remember to be realistic. If you’ve just started in a new job and you hate it after the first week, do some analysis. How much can you attribute your feelings to the normal transition of being in a new environment and not feeling comfortable yet? Cut yourself some slack and give it time. If you still hate it a couple of months, then reassess and move on.