When and how do you know when it’s time to quit?
One of the first questions I get asked when I deal with individuals who are in job transitions is: “How do I know when it’s time to quit?”
Quitting a job is a big decision and it requires thoughtful and careful consideration. There are however certain circumstances that call for immediate action to find a new job if you don’t want to de-rail your life, risk your career, damage your mental or physical health or lose good relationships and friends.
There is also often the likelihood of Being Fired vs Quitting a job.
The risk of getting fired is the biggest axe an employer holds over an employee’s head. Redundancies and getting fired is increasingly common in underperforming industries such as the Print, Automotive or Retail sector here in Australia to name just a few. Most professionals have tacitly accepted the idea that being fired is not only costly and disruptive to employees, their families, and particularly in Australia (their Mortgage), and should therefore be avoided at all costs. For this reason, many of us will accept untenable conditions at work and go to extraordinary lengths to keep our jobs.
The reasons people get fired are often not as a result of the employee’s own faults or behaviour.
If you are fired for one of the following reasons, you have been unlucky, but preparing for contingencies can help you move forward.
- Personality mismatch – is amongst the most common reasons. You are hanging on because of the money but actually you were not happy with the surroundings. Repetitious and boring work environment, unhealthy – unhappy staff culture or the entire environment was just not comfortable. Being fired in these cases is probably a blessing, as it frees you to search for employment that is a better match for your experience and personality.
- Skills mismatch – When you applied for the job, you were not completely aware of the full responsibilities of the job. This might be because the hiring professionals did not accurately check your skills and experience against the job requirements or he/she was lax in making things clear enough. Another possibility is where the job duties were switched on you after you were hired. If so, while it did not work out, at least you tried. Think positive as you will have better luck elsewhere.
- Refusing to go along – Standing up for your beliefs, refusing to be dishonest or to overlook faulty business practices and being fired for it is not a slur on you; you should be proud for standing up for what is right. It’s called having integrity.
- Downsizing – Thousands of people are downsized every day. It’s not their fault. It’s an impersonal business practice by which companies try to raise the value of their stock, minimise losses, change personnel following a takeover or merger, etc. The company itself may be downsizing products and or moving to different countries to lower expenses.
- Unreasonable – If you became pregnant or needed to take time off to tend to a sick child or spouse, and if you put in a request for a short leave of absence and were fired, it had nothing to do with you. Don’t blame yourself. You might deal with this as job discrimination or unfair dismissal.
Parting ways with a company isn’t easy, and neither is standing still. In fact, most mistakes come from standing still and so there are times when it’s better to go than to stay. Here are some factors to weigh in making that difficult decision..
Words to the wise: if you decide it’s time to move on, don’t quit a position until you find the next one. Be discreet in your job search, and don’t check out until you turn off the lights for the last time. Your reputation and job experience go with you. People will remember the colleague who stayed loyal and committed until the very last day of work.
With the right skills, attitude, dedication and perseverance, a job you love can and will be yours. Go get it and remember to hunt wisely!