Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Decision-Making stress Transitions

Quittin’ time

Have you been thinking of leaving your job?

Recently, I left my old job and started a new one. For me, quitting was a big and stressful decision, and I’ve been wanting to blog about it to help others who are considering it.

Below is a list of internal and external signs that it might be quittin’ time for you, too. Internal signs have to do with your personality or feelings about your job, while external signs refer to conditions in the workplace over which you have less control.

A. Internal

___You spend a lot of time thinking or worrying about work, even when you aren’t there

___You frequently arrive late or leave early

___You’ve been calling in sick more often

___You aren’t as productive at work as you used to be

___You don’t take breaks at work, sometimes skipping meals

___You haven’t taken a day off in 6 months or more

___You’re thinking about switching careers altogether

B. External

___You have poor or no health benefits at the workplace

___You are underpaid for your credentials or experience (visit glassdoor.com to get your approximate salary estimate)

___Your work site lacks opportunity for upward mobility or leadership roles

___Targets or expectations of you are unreasonably high

___Your job role and expectations have changed since you began the job

___Your boss has yelled at you, demeaned you, called you names, or otherwise abused you (this is external because no one ever deserves to be verbally or emotionally abused)

___You’ve experienced sexual harassment in the workplace (same caveat as above)

C. Both/Neither?

___You frequently have conflicts with your coworkers

___You frequently have conflicts with or anger towards your boss

___You frequently feel bored and under stimulated at work

___You worry about job stability due to external factors (cuts to funding, firings, etc.)

___Problems at work (such as long hours) are beginning to affect your personal relationships

___You do not receive enough training to perform your job well

___You have a soul-crushingly long commute

 

If you checked off mostly A’s…

Have you experienced any major changes outside of work? A move? A loss? I’m wondering if there could be something else going on in your life that could also be affecting you at work. Give yourself some extra care by talking to a trusted friend, pampering yourself, or investing time in a hobby. Of course, mental health services are always an option too 🙂 Once you’ve carved out some time for yourself, you may get more clarity on whether or not you should stay at your current job.

If you checked off mostly B’s…

First things first: No one deserves to be harmed physically, mentally or sexually, no matter what. If you feel comfortable reporting abuse to your immediate supervisor or human resources department, please do so. Most abusers abuse multiple people, so by reporting, you will likely be helping others. But if you don’t want to report for whatever reason, that’s understandable and perfectly okay.

Being frustrated about things that are outside your control sucks; believe me, I’ve been there! But before you put in your two weeks’ notice… have you done something you do have control over to change your situation? Have you spoken with a supervisor about your concerns? Have you asked for a raise or a promotion? People are pretty self-absorbed, so they may not realize that you’re unsatisfied unless you speak clearly and openly about the changes you’d like to see.

Speaking openly can be difficult, especially if you’re worried there might be backlash from your supervisor. Writing out what you want to say beforehand, using “I” statements, can help you prepare for a tough conversation with the boss. For example, instead of saying, “You’re a (curse word of your choice),” you might say, “I feel like I’m under a lot of pressure, and it might help if there was more flexibility with the deadlines.” (Being specific also helps).

If you’ve already spoken up or taken other steps to alleviate your work situation, well, it may indeed be time to start looking elsewhere.

If you checked off mostly C’s, or even numbers from each category…

As satisfying as quizzes and checklists like this one can be, they definitely aren’t scientific. Qualitative data is as important or more so than quantitative. So rather than focusing on the numbers in each category, focus on the value you place on each item. Can you live with a long commute if you love the work itself? Can you advocate for more training opportunities or seek them outside of work? If you can think of any adjustments that would make work more bearable, try them out before making the decision to move on.

 

Whatever happens, trust your instincts. You know what you need, and will do what is best for you. Please use whatever was helpful from this post, and ignore anything that didn’t ring true for you. Thank you for reading!

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