Now that things are starting to become a little more “normal,” you might be asking yourself, “Is it time to change jobs?” During the height of the pandemic, you may have continued with work that didn’t feel quite right, but was OK enough for the moment.
But now the challenges you decided to overlook may be bothering you more. If you’re feeling extremely bored, stressed, tired, irritable, or filled with dread when you are working, that’s probably not a good sign.
Deciding whether, or not to change jobs – working for yourself or for someone else – isn’t always an easy decision. There can be a lot of variables involved: money, how it fits into your family’s needs, how long you’ve been doing the work, how the job fits into your long term plans, etc.
I do believe that when we say, “I don’t know what to do,” we actually do know the answer. But I also know that sometimes it’s hard to access that answer.
So what should you do? Here are two ideas for how to decide if it’s time to change jobs.
#1 Use your mind and your emotions to decide.
In 2015, I wrote a blog post called How to shorten your to do list by making three. In it, I described a method I use when my to do list is too long. I make one list based on what my mind says I need to do, a second list based on what my intuition says I need to do, and a third that combines the main themes from both lists.
You can do a similar process with your “Reasons to change jobs” and “Reasons to stay at my job” lists. Giving space for mind-driven reasons and emotion-driven ones will allow you to see patterns and possibly, new solutions.
#2 Observe yourself as if you were a scientist.
You know how it’s obvious to you what your friends should do, but not what you should do? That’s because you are observing them as an outsider. Even if you know them well, you aren’t carrying around their family history, their responsibilities, and the voices in their head that may, or may not be giving them good information.
Another way to help you decide if it’s time to change jobs is to observe yourself. Record information daily about the factors that would help you make your decision. For example, let’s say that the thing that is bothering you the most about your work is that it’s too stressful.
Rank what you want to measure.
At the end of each day, rank your stress level on a scale of 1-10 (10 being high). At the end of the month, average the number. After a few months, you’ll have objective data about your stress level at your job that can help you make your decision.
List the factors that go behind your ranking.
If you want to take this a step further, you could also make a list each day of what happened that made your job stressful. At the end of the month, read through your list and look for themes. It’s possible you could make changes that would allow you to keep doing the work you’re already doing. If not, you’ll have information about why you need to leave and about what you want your next work to look like in relation to stress.
Notice what’s working as well as what’s not working.
If you’re up for more journaling, also record daily when you didn’t feel stressed at work. You can use that list to help you know what you want more of in your existing, or new work.
If you’re reading this post, there’s probably something about your job that you’re not enjoying. I’m so sorry that you’re going through that experience. It can be quite painful. I hope these ideas help you make changes that bring you greater happiness at work.
If you’d like more personal support, feel free to sign up for a 30-minute free, sample coaching call.
If you’d like a video version of this post, you can view it on the player below, or if it doesn’t show up for you, watch it on Vimeo.