I’ve seen a few articles lately about how to know when it’s time to leave your job. Many of these posts had a handy list to compare yourself and your circumstances to.
I’d argue that most people don’t need a list.
Because deep down, they know exactly if they should leave their job. Working in a job that you don’t enjoy, working for a company that you don’t care about, working for a manager that you don’t care for, is like wearing a badly fitting pair of shoes. It’s always there, a minor but constant irritation. It rubs away at you.
Most people know when it is time to leave a job. They know it deep down somewhere inside that maybe they could, they should, maybe they would be happier somewhere else. Somewhere that fits better, for them.
A lot of the time what stops us is not the not knowing, but the not taking action.
We get stuck. Even if the job isn’t everything we wanted, it might be comfortable, reliable, easy, known. They say that familiarity breeds contempt. But it can also breed procrastination and indecision.
The thought of a new job can be daunting. Even overwhelming. New people, new places, new stuff.
So we get stuck in a job we don’t love.
When I am coaching, there are several questions I often revert to.
What is holding you back?
What is the worst thing that could happen?
How likely is this, really?
And finally. What is the best thing that could happen if you change this, do this, go for it.
So instead of reading a list and checking a tick box about whether it is time to leave your current role, maybe you should stop and reflect for a moment.
What is really stopping you?