Are you unhappy in your job but not sure if it’s the right time to leave? Recent research from Bayt.com found many in the Middle East feel they deserve to work in a higher-level position, with half of those polled willing to move to another department or area of expertise to further their careers.
Job satisfaction is also an issue for many in the region, with the main reasons for quitting a low- base salary and a lack of career growth opportunities.
So how do you know that you’re truly ready to move on? And most importantly, how do you know the difference between ordinary and occasional dissatisfaction and a genuine mismatch? Here are five reasons it may be time to hand in your notice:
1. Your health is suffering
Whether it’s your mental or physical health that is being significantly impaired by the stresses of the job, heed the early warning signs and don’t wait until the symptoms are long term and severe. Developing chronic back problems, headaches, stomach pains or sleep issues may all signal a problem job. Equally telling are weekends spent dreading going to work, feeling completely drained at the end of each day, or a sharp drop in productivity.
2. The demands of your job are unrealistic
If you find yourself working overtime or doing a job that is best suited for two people or more and you have been unable to marshal the resources or support to lighten the workload to a more realistic level, it may well be time to leave before you completely burn out. This state of affairs may be due to a recent merger or acquisition, cost cutting activity or simply oversight by your boss. Whatever it is, make sure your boss is made aware of the nature of the burden you are carrying before you call it quits and seek more realistic job responsibilities elsewhere.
3. You have consistently been overlooked for a pay rise or promotion
Being recognised and appreciated by your employer is a key motivational factor for many. Nothing is more demeaning and unsettling than being consistently overlooked, particularly if your peers and subordinates are rising through the ranks while your position remains largely static. However, talk the situation through with your boss before making any rash decisions. If your boss is unresponsive and you see no future growth prospects, either in your present job or in other roles within the company, it may well be time to seek momentum for your career elsewhere.
4. The job is unchallenging
When boredom sets in and the job becomes a routine monotonous ordeal with no learning curve left to speak of, it may be time to move on. The means and opportunity to explore new challenges and acquire new skills and knowledge is an important aspect of any job, especially if you value your career progression and don’t wish to be pigeonholed or unfairly pushed to a premature learning glass ceiling. Try to broaden the role, acquire new training and add more challenging tasks and responsibilities before you commit to seeking growth and learning elsewhere.
5. Your values and the company’s values are a mismatch
If you work in an uncomfortable workplace setting, find yourself morally misaligned with your employer or if your employer is asking you to do something remotely unethical or that does not fully agree with your own values, standards and beliefs, leave immediately.
You can mitigate some of the risks of quitting by deciding what’s next before you leave. It’s better to have at least an inkling of what you want to do, if not a full-fledged plan. Analyse your situation objectively, talk it through with your family and friends and make sure you don’t jeopardise your career by acting too hastily. Staying in an undesirable situation can be somewhat unpleasant, but quitting a job on an emotional whim can damage your career and disrupt your personal life.
Lama Ataya heads the marketing department at Bayt.com.
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