Three Reasons Not to Quit


George’s Employment Blawg provides a list of 10 solid reasons for quitting your job, including such items as never having actually been satisfied with the job to begin with and having only Friday afternoons to look forward to. Ouch. Most of us have been there at one time or another.

A list like this is helpful. It can take courage to leave a job, a move that often involves working out of our comfort zone and facing the unknown. But sometimes we need to face those kinds of challenges where we are.

So as a supplement to George’s list of 10 reasons to quit, I present three reasons to stay.

1. You haven’t lined anything else up yet.

Some will tell you that this tip is out of date, and that being out of work can provide both the motivation and the time to find the right opportunity. Possibly. But time is of the essence, unless you’re independently wealthy and only working for the social interaction. That ticking clock is a great motivator, but it just might run out on you before you find what you’re looking for. Then what?

Plus, not to sound like a broken record on this subject, but keep in mind that these days being unemployed is a distinct disadvantage for job hunters.

2. You haven’t actually tried to fix things where you are.

You’ve got issues with your current job? Guess what. You will have issues with your next job. We can hope they won’t be as severe as what you’re experiencing now, but there is something to be said for the devil you know.

Sometimes you’re in a toxic environment and you really do have to get out as quickly as possible. Other times, fixes are possible. If you’re bored by what you do, maybe start thinking about what you could offer that would be interesting to you and of greater value to the organization than what you’re currently doing. There might not be anything there, but it’s worth giving it a thought. Likewise, if your relationship with your boss or co-workers is the problem — have you tried to address it, or just assumed it is insurmountable?

Before you go, assess whether the problem is fixable and, if there’s any reasonable chance that it is, give it s shot. You’ll feel better about leaving even if it doesn’t work out. You’ll know you’re not running away and that the problem really is them, not you.

3. You’re the problem.

Obviously this is closely related to item 2. If you make an honest assessment of what’s gone wrong with your job and realize that it has to do with your own character or attitude…

Well, first off, congratulations to anyone with enough self-awareness to actually figure that out. But if that is what’s going on — if the problem is you — then you have to realize that finding a new job is going to be only a temporary fix at best. If your plan is to make adjustments in your own approach when you start a new job, why not make them now, where you are, and then check back in a few weeks as to whether quitting is something that still feels right?  You might save yourself a lot of trouble that way.

None of this is to say that there aren’t times when it’s appropriate to quit. There definitely are. But there are also times when it’s appropriate to stay. Before you make a decision, spend some time thinking about all 13 questions.

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