Should I Quit My Job? (2015)
Chapter 2: You Have Options
Employees should never be made to feel like they’ve come to a forced end with their current job, one where the only solution to their problems is quitting. However, when the inevitable happens, you should be able to take one of several options to remedy matters.
The first step you should take is to stop feeling down about your situation. Analyze the hard facts before you take the final step — that is, deciding between quitting your job or staying on, trying to mend things. Here are some things you can do to clear your head enough to decide:
If lack of challenge is the most pressing problem with your job, you could try going part-time, if possible, so you'll have the time to go looking for another job.
This will be your 'trial period' in which you can test other jobs and see if that makes a difference in how you feel. It can also help you make comparisons between your current job and other jobs.
Trying other jobs can also help you put your current job in perspective. It can give you an idea of what you will be facing if you decide to quit your job altogether. It can also give you an insight on what’s missing from your current job, so you can discuss your concerns with your employer.
It’s crucial, however, that you don’t overwork yourself with different jobs. Make sure you can handle the pressure and demands of having several jobs at a time. It won’t be beneficial for you if your job performance drops simply because you’ve taken on too much work. In fact, it can lead to stress and overload if you don’t watch it.
Sometimes, all you need is a break to clear your head, particularly if you are feeling overworked or depressed. When you’re not yet sure whether quitting is the best decision or whether there are other options, you can take some leave and get your well-deserved break.
Use this time to consider your options, and to relax and unwind from all the work-related stress you’ve accumulated over the time you’ve been working your head off. You can spend more quality time with your family, or you can choose to take a trip somewhere.
Vacations are a great way to regain your zeal and strength, since too much work can lead to emotional and psychological problems. They are also perfect when you need to distance yourself from your work in order to examine your situation objectively.
Make the most of your vacation. It’s the best time to list all the pros and cons of quitting your job, and your immediate concerns should you decide to quit. It’s also the time to conceive backup plans, and to start looking for alternate jobs that you can apply for before giving up your current job.
If you’re thinking of staying on, then use your vacation to fix your mindset. Make a list of the good things about your work and the things that could be improved. If you want to improve your situation, you can list suggested changes that you can later discuss with your employer, once you get back.
Either way, going on vacation will definitely buy you some time before you make any irrevocable decisions that will change your career forever.
Discuss professionally with your boss
The best approach to take when you feel dissatisfied with your current job is to discuss politely with your immediate superior. That way, you are informing your employer that you value their opinions, and it shows that you want to work things out with them.
Now, it could prove problematic if one of your concerns is actually your working relationship with your boss. If that is the case, you should approach the human relations department of the company to address your concerns. If you feel you have been treated unfairly, now is the time to air your grievances — but only through the proper channel.
Before you approach your superiors to renegotiate your current position, make sure you do the following:
Make a list of your concerns. This can serve as your guide when you are on the negotiation table, so you can avoid veering off-topic and engaging in heated arguments.
Along with your concerns, make a list of demands and suggestions for change. However, remember that when you are angling for a promotion or pay raise, you are entering a flexible negotiation process. You should provide enough elbow room for the management to make their counter-offers.
If you are having emotional or psychological problems such as stress, work overload, or depression, it’s best if you seek the help of an expert on how to handle the negotiations. This will help you avoid emotional outbursts which could be counter-productive to the purpose of you meeting with your bosses.
During negotiations, keep a cool head and stick to the facts. Avoid making unfounded accusations or emotionally loaded statements. That way, you get to the heart of the matter immediately and see if your case has a chance of being resolved within the company or not.
Quitting your job should never be voiced as a threat to management. Remember, no individual member of the company is truly indispensable, and there will be hundreds of applicants lining up to take your place.
Quitting should only be broached as a last resort if things truly don’t work out for you, or if the management fails to put your concerns into perspective and address them.
Having an employer who is insensitive to your needs is the worst experience for any good employee. If you have taken all these options and still the management ignores your concerns, then the situation is out of your hands. It’s time to get out while you still can and maintain your dignity.
When you hit that final snag, it’s time to put your backup plans into action. You should now plan your graceful exit from the company and rely on alternate means to tide yourself over as you search for the new career path ahead of you.
Chase after your passion
Perhaps you are burnt out because you feel like you have dedicated your whole life to your job, which you may now feel was not really worth it at all. Due to your demanding job, you have probably given up your personal and social life. Well, it is about time that you reconnect.
Work is indeed necessary to earn a living, but your life should not revolve around it entirely. Whether you are in your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, or even older, it is never too late to chase after your passion. Take Colonel Harland Sanders, for example. He was already a senior citizen living on his pension when he decided to introduce his original fried chicken recipe to the rest of the world. He eventually pulled it off, and now KFC is one of the most successful fast food restaurant chains in the world.
Have you always wanted to do something but your commitment to your job held you back?
Have you always wanted to go on a trip but your schedule won't allow it?
Is there a hobby you have always wanted to explore but you never seem to have time?
Have you been missing out on family events or hanging out with your friends?
Whatever it is that you have in mind or whether you have a list or not, just remember that catchphrase from that famous shoe brand: "Just do it!" Now that you have the luxury of time, go run after your passion and start living outside of your job. Treat this time as a breather from the stress that the corporate world brings. Its time to be free and do what you have always wanted, implement what you planned, on and know what it feels like to live free!
Start a business
There are basically two types of people. There are the thinkers who are great at planning and yet never seem to move forward because they do nothing but plan. On the other hand, there are the doers. They may not be as good in planning but their biggest advantage over thinkers is that they take action.
Are you a thinker or a doer? A lot of people dream about putting up a business but they also fear the uncertainty of such a venture. From an employee's point of view, your job could have been holding you back all this time to take action. Now, you do not have any excuse. You can either start looking for another employer or you can become your own boss in your own business.
Do you have a business idea in mind?
What is it that you feel passionate about?
What are you good at?
How much money do you have prepared for the investment?
Perhaps these questions seem overwhelming, but look on the bright side; it is an exciting time for you. To get you started, below are some business ideas you may want to consider. The good thing about these businesses is that they require low startup capital.
Think about what you can sell that you are genuinely interested in. Start with a few basic products and build your inventory gradually. You do not even have to put up your own website immediately. You can use eBay and other e-retailing sites in the meantime.
Online English Tutoring
All you need is Skype, a website, and a bank account. Because of globalization, non-English speaking countries are pressured to cope. That provides a low-cost business opportunity for you.
Obesity and simply being overweight are still huge problems which is why the fitness business is projected to increase by 29% by 2018. If you have a background in health and fitness, you can help other people get in shape.
You do not necessarily have to invest in gym equipment. Rather, hold classes in the local gym or in the park. Offer boot camps and start marketing your services online. Acquiring a certification will give you more credibility in the eyes of your intended market.
Events and reasons for celebration never run out. If you have a penchant for planning, then you may just be able to pull this off. In this case, you must leverage your network in order to land a gig. It will help if you have managed to build your network from your previous job.
Personal chef or Home catering business
This is a fast-growing industry, having reached $1.2 billion in 2010 alone. This is perfect if you have a passion for cooking or have a background in this kind of work. You can rent equipment first and start investing gradually as you earn.
Tour guide operator
If you like socialize with people or you are particularly living in a place that attracts tourists, this is a good business idea for you. The key is to find your niche. For instance, if you are physically active, then you can promote a biking tour. On the other hand, if you are an art enthusiast, you can conduct a tour through local museums and galleries.
Whatever business idea you choose to pursue, plan it well and do not forget to take action!
Life is a constant learning experience. If you feel like you have taken a wrong turn in the choice of a career, know that it is never too late to start over again. There are a number of online courses available now so you do not necessarily have to live as you did back in college. The schedules are more flexible so you can take classes on your own time.
Start by reassessing your new career options. Think about your passion, what it is that you like doing, and what it is you can actually do. Once you have figured those out, the search will be easy.
Most people who find themselves out of work choose to become bums in the meantime. You can do that but you can also make use of this time to take charge of your future. Plan your transition and have a better shot at life.