Should I stay or should I go?
Who remembers the song above from The Clash in 1981? It’s a very pertinent question for many employees are the moment.
When Michele Obama was asked by a young girl how she was going to get back on track after the Whitehouse experience, she said
“get back on what track?” It’s a whole new track. It’s not going back, it’s just all different, and it’s different forever.”
I think a lot of us feel like that after the current global pandemic, it’s still going to be about work and life, but not as we know it! Priorities have shifted, remote working is here to stay, and if I look at jobs, working patterns have shifted as well.
So, if you’re sat at your desk reading this and feel like you’re no longer in the right place for you work-wise, then keep reading. Ask yourself these five big questions below, and you may just find the answer to should I stay or should I go now.
Is my job still aligned with my priorities, values and goals?
As I mentioned previously, the events of the last 18 months have caused many people to reevaluate their lives. If your role is no longer aligned with who you are, then it may be time to move on; however, the same reevaluation has happened to organisations, so talk to your manager. Discuss possible changes to your role. For example, if you have realised you want more time with your family, then discuss flexible working options; this is becoming a reality for many businesses.
Do I want to be doing this job for the next five years?
What does success look like for you? It’s important to truly consider all your options and think about what that might look like in 5 years time. Career priorities shift with different ages, different life stages and big life events such as an illness or global pandemic!
If the thought of doing this job for the next five years fills you with panic, then do you have opportunities to progress, upskill or move sideways with your current organisation? Discuss these options with your manager.
If a promotion, a raise or further training does not look likely in your current organisation and is a priority for you, then it may be time to consider other employment opportunities that can offer this.
Do I like working for my manager?
This is a big question for many people. According to a Gallup poll of more than 1 million workers, 75% of them had left a job directly due to having a bad manager or direct supervisor. Now, leaving is not always the answer. If your manager’s behaviour is making you physically or mentally unwell, then you shouldn’t have to leave. Document a case, know your rights and protect your status, sanity and salary. However, sometimes we just don’t get along with the people we work with. After all, they are not necessarily people we would choose as friends. So, there are really two questions here, is this a personality clash or a serious case of misconduct on the part of your manager? If the answer is a personality clash, does your job give you enough satisfaction and enjoyment to overlook a strained relationship or not?
Could I earn more money somewhere else?
This question is very similar to your job being aligned with your values and priorities. Think about your current role. Are you earning enough money to enjoy the lifestyle you want and do you enjoy your job? If the answer to both is yes, then think about your priorities. Is earning more money enough of a reason to leave a job you enjoy? If you are earning a good salary but do not feel your role is aligned with your values, could you consider doing an activity in your spare time that does align with your values and allows you to continue earning your current salary?
Finally, if you’re not earning enough to enjoy the lifestyle you want and you’re not enjoying your job, then this could be a good time to consider your options and looking at other roles that better match what you are looking for.
Do you like what you do?
The last question is possibly the most simple question you can ask yourself. How do you feel about your job? Do you spend Sunday evenings dreading the thought of Monday, or do you enjoy what you do, feel your role aligns with your values and priorities, feel appreciated, well-compensated and happy?
Any role has ups and downs, great days and rubbish days. Some days you feel full of the joys of spring on other days the doldrums kick in! However, if you’re job is affecting your mental health, if you go home feeling drained and stressed every day, then you have to ask yourself, is this job really worth it? No job is worth risking your health for.
So, what are your career change choices?
There are a number of ways of moving career, have a look at the various options below:
And don’t forget the options you have to freelance, be self-employed, or have your own business…
Is the Grass Really Greener?
The perception of many of these options looks very attractive. The grass is always greener but for each option, think about the reality.
Firstly, if you have found a company you enjoy working for but do not feel fulfilled in your role, then take advantage of internal networking and internal vacancies to consider other job roles.
Also, passion and purpose are so massive when it comes to happiness and fulfilling work and life. Perhaps you can volunteer and find your meaning that way? Perhaps you can work flexibly and pursue your true passion on a flexible basis?
Secondly, think about moving organisation
Do you like your work colleagues? Are they like your family? As a valued and long-serving employee, do you get a lot of flexibility? Is your company prepared to move and grow you? As I have already said, 75% of people move organisations because of their relationship with their boss, what if your boss leaves in the next 6 months, how would you feel about your role and your company then? You’re feeling burnt out and not having enough “You” time. What if you could negotiate a more flexible working week which meant you had time to rejuvenate your energy? Can you negotiate a higher salary? Could you redesign your role and ensure you are playing to your strengths? Can you get any other benefits such as coaching or counselling?
Ask yourself these questions, and you might find the answer is STAY!
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Sarah started her career in fmcg marketing working as a brand manager on Clover and as an interim manager on Clover (twice) and Quorn. She founded a start-up interim management company in Gloucestershire and that business changed the percentage of women and diverse talent in senior marketing and HR roles. Sarah specialises in attracting, onboarding, developing, engaging and retaining diverse talent into forward thinking businesses to improve productivity, performance and profit. Flexible working and wellbeing play a large part. Since covid-19 wreaked havoc on the job landscape, Sarah has a created an innovative programme to get senior experienced professionals back into work or fine-tune their current role so that it makes happy.