Should you stay or should you go?
If you’re feeling unfulfilled in your current job, you’re probably asking yourself whether you should stay or go.
On the one hand you may be unhappy at work, but it is a bird in the hand and there are no guarantees you’ll find anything better any time soon.
On the other hand, if you’re really miserable then a period of unemployment and arduous job hunting probably starts to look preferable.
There could be a middle route, however, and that is staying in the job you dislike but finding ways to improve it. If you’re asking yourself whether you should stay or go, here are a few things to take into consideration.
You might hate your current role, but there could be ways of making it more enjoyable. Try to pinpoint exactly what it is about the job that is making you miserable – is it not challenging enough? Is there no career progression? Does it not let you make use of your degree or training? Once you know where your dissatisfaction stems from, it can be easier to identify ways of improving the situation.
If it’s not challenging enough and doesn’t fire up your little grey cells, it might be worth having a quiet word with your manager and telling them how you feel.
Most good team leaders will want their staff to feel stretched and energised, so they will probably go out of their way to see you are given more interesting and intellectually stimulating work. Again, if it comes down to a lack of promotion opportunities then a chat with your manager could help.
They will at least be able to tell you whether there’s any hope for career development, and sometimes a company will even create new and more challenging senior roles to ensure the most talented individuals stay with them.
Feeling undervalued in a job is perhaps one of the most soul-crushing experiences, but there are subtle ways of expressing how you feel. Chances are your managers do value you as an employee but just forget to say so, and the simple act of saying you were proud of the work you’d done could elicit a thank you email at the very least.
When it comes to feeling valued it is seldom about salary and financial gain and almost always about being treated as a human rather than a robot. If your managers don’t recognise that, then it might be time to move on to the alternative…
If gentle hinting that you’re a human being with feelings doesn’t work, then it might be time to walk. Poor management is one of the main reasons people cite for packing in their jobs, because it’s hard to slave away for someone who either doesn’t appreciate the effort or lacks the decency to acknowledge a job well done.
If there really is an issue with your supervisors, then it’s them that need to change rather than you or the job. If it’s a case of one of you having to go, they’re unlikely to pack in the cushy management role so it may as well be you who walks.
Unemployment can be a scary prospect, often meaning people stay in a job they loathe simply because it pays the bills. That doesn’t stop you looking, however. You can still use your lunch hour and your weekends to quietly trawl the online job sites on the prowl for something better.
If you hate your job so much that you can’t endure the months it might take to secure another role, then handing in your notice doesn’t have to mean the end of the world.
If you use your unemployment wisely it can open doors to better things. You may well have been working in a job which doesn’t make best use of your degree qualifications and experience, but somewhere out there is a job vacancy which will let you shine.
If you do hand in your notice then you could do voluntary work or enrol on a training course, both of which will fill the gap in your CV and add to your skillset. If you’re after a complete career change, then undertaking an internship in the sector you’re interested in can give you the practical experience you need to secure a full-time job in your chosen field.
However much you might hate your current job, packing it in for pastures new is a major step and the decision shouldn’t be taken lightly. Weigh up the pros and cons carefully before you decide the best course of action – stay or go, you don’t want to regret it further down the line.
See our job board for new opportunities. You can speak to one of our consultants regarding your job search by calling 0207 269 6144.