When is enough enough? At what point do you say goodbye to your employer and find another position? If you have been overworked and underpaid because your company can afford to treat you that way in a bad economy, you may be asking yourself these questions.
Here are five reasons for thinking about searching for greener pastures:
1) When your health is being negatively impacted. Some people might be surprised to learn that most heart attacks occur on Monday mornings when people are getting ready to go to work. (See this CNN article: http://bit.ly/zlWMlJ.) Clearly, your work environment can have a direct impact on your physical health.
2) When you are emotionally at the end of your rope. It certainly is preferable to leave your employer before you get to the end of your endurance. If you find that you are getting to your breaking point, you should start looking for options to make your life at the organization more bearable. But if you realize that the toll on your emotional health is too high, it’s time to make a change.
3) When you have exhausted all options to make the job more tolerable. Even though the unemployment rate has ticked downward for the last couple of months, it is still not back at pre-recession levels. With competition still being stiff for jobs, you need to evaluate your options carefully before deciding to move on. You might consider putting out feelers in your current organization to see if you might be able to transfer to another department or possibly even another geographic location to stay with the same employer. If after having assessed all options within your organization you come to the conclusion that you need to look elsewhere, keep your job search a secret by using only your personal cell phone and your personal email on your own personal computer to find new employment. It’s also a good idea to quietly collect any information that might be useful to you for your resume (i.e., quantification of your accomplishments) while you are still at work since you may not have access to it once you leave.
4) When you have enough of a financial cushion to do so. If you have not yet lined up another position but you realize that you cannot stay where you are and you have enough money in the bank to tide you over until you find that next job, you may want to tell your current employer goodbye.
5) When the cost of staying overcomes the cost of leaving. If after having read all of the reasons above for considering quitting your job you determine that you fall into a number of those categories, then the cost of staying may be higher than the cost of leaving. Of course it’s always best to leave when you have another job in hand, so if you can stay a little longer to find another job while you are still working, that is the best option. Just make sure that you look before you leap so that you do not end up in another bad situation.