As a career coach, I often spend a lot of time with clients who are unhappy with their current situation at work. They can often pinpoint things that trouble or bother them, and often assume that getting a new job and leaving their company is the only path forward.
While in many cases a new job, or a new company is the right choice, it isn’t always the right choice. For instance, I recently worked with a client who when we dug deep, realized that it wasn’t work that was the problem, but how she spent her time outside of work. Once we identified some action steps to change how she spent her time on weekends, she began to feel a lot better about her job, and within a few months actually got promoted!
I’m a big fan of self-reflection and asking questions to uncover results. Let’s make an assumption that you don’t need to leave today. If that is the case, it’s important to make sure that you have exhausted all your means at the company you are at before you jump ship to a new one. If at the end of the reflection you realize that there might be a chance to stay by changing things up or finding a new role, great, you just saved yourself a ton of time and effort. If not, that is fine too, and you can now move forward with the job search process.
Below are some questions to guide your self-reflection.
- What do you think is causing you to want to find a new job?
- What are you not getting out of this job that you want to get out of your next job?
- If you were to leave, what are you going to miss most once you leave this job?
- What is something unique that you’re currently company provides you that you think will be hard to replicate anywhere else?
- If you could change something about your current job to make it better, what would you change? Is it feasible for that change to happen?
After answering these questions as truthfully and honestly as you can, take a few days to review the answers before taking any additional action. You may realize that you are actually fine, and can continue working. Additionally, you may realize you need to make a change or two to help you get back on track. And finally, you may realize that it is in fact time to move on, and you’re ready to take on the job search.
Taking action when you’re frustrated in your job is a good thing, as is using self-reflection to understand what’s at the root cause of your frustration. If you’re thinking about a career change, try answering these questions to see what you can uncover.