Every day I get messages on LinkedIn asking me if the person in question should quit their job. They ramble on for lengthy monologues about the horrors of their position. They always have timid reasons or lame excuses on hand for why they need to get out of their current role. Sometimes, they blame their spouse, kid's commitments, or pin it on their boss.
All of these reasons are valid reasons that go into decision-making, but they aren't the best reasons for deciding whether or not it's time to jump ship.
We all want more flexibility, creative wiggle room, and decision-making ability in our occupations. However, sometimes we have to be rigid with ourselves and know when it's more important for our career trajectory to stay on board.
Weathering the storm can feel impossible, but hanging on until you receive that next promotion, could be the best move career-wise, that you make in the next five years. It's tough, but sometimes delayed gratification is the best thing to motivate you.
I write a lot about career advice and getting rid of dead weight career choices. It should come as no surprise that I'm a strong advocate for a very simplistic solution to knowing when it's time to quit your job, and when you'd be best served staying.
Here is the test I use to determine if I should quit or not.
Imagine that you walk into work on Friday and you run into your current boss in the lobby on the way in.
She avoids eye contact, but then she says, "why don't you stop by my office this afternoon?" You already know what's coming.
There is one question, however, that will help you determine if you should quit your job.
If your boss fired you right now, what would your reaction be?
If you would be relieved, you should quit. If you would be devastated, obviously that means you don't want to quit. But, most people I talk to that are miserable, answer that they would be relieved.
Why is this question so important?
In my career, I've learned that knowing the difference between when you want to quit and when you should quit is invaluable.
Here are three reasons why you should go ahead and quit it if you're already leaning that way.
1. Avoiding confrontation solves nothing.
Delaying the inevitable sounds like a good idea, however, it doesn't help you--especially if you are career oriented.
When you are disengaged with your job it shows in the quality of work that you are doing. It also holds you back from showing your potential.
As an employee, you always want to have an upward trajectory. If you aren't feeling satisfied in your current role, it's possible that it's due to you being stuck, more than anything else.
Creative blocks, fear of failure, and stagnation are the enemy of progress in your pursuit of the best work-life possible.
2. You may not bet another chance to leave.
Chances are if your response to being fired is a relief, it means that you aren't hard pressed for financial security or other major obstacles that would prevent you from leaving in the first place.
If your response was sheer panic, you may need to reevaluate your decision.
However, if you feel like you could pull it off, you are probably right. And you never know when you will get the chance to make a move in the future.
New roles are always opening up, but excuses are always just as valid. If you don't have any reason to stay now, it's time to pack up some banker's boxes and head for the elevator.
3. You are more valuable someplace else.
It's human nature to want to feel valuable. After all, why else do we work so hard, if not for the sense of achievement after accomplishing something?
There's a catch to this, though.
In order to feel valuable, you need to be doing your best work, and your best work only happens when you are truly engaged with the projects, team, and environment you are working in. You're too good to sacrifice your output in order to stay in a job you hate.
Take a risk, and build wings on the way down--your career may depend on it.