The questions to ask yourself when considering quitting your job

Over the last 18 months, it's likely that you were forced to examine your life in a different light, including your current job, as a result of pandemic fug or a shift in priorities. 

While many are satisfied with their current job, a Microsoft survey found 41% of workers worldwide are considering quitting or changing professions this year, with a further 38% of workers in the UK and Ireland planning to quit in the next six to 12 months, according to Personio research.

As a result, the UK is in the midst of what has been termed "The Great Resignation" and the "turnover tsunami." And this is no surprise, especially when job vacancies across July and September 2021 were at a record high of 1.1 million, according to the Office of National Statistics. This was the second consecutive month that the three-month average has risen over one million. 

The conclusion? The job market is booming and, if you are unhappy with your current role, now could be the optimal time to make your move. Here are seven questions to ask yourself to determine if now is the time to resign.

1. What's making me unhappy?

The first thing to evaluate is what's making you feel disgruntled, to identify whether it's your role that's causing dissatisfaction, or if it's additional fallout from the pandemic.

While it's likely a blend, try to pinpoint specific work-related reasons to help you pave the stepping stones to resolution. For example, is it remote working, the need to return to the office, management, a colleague, or pay?

2. How long have I felt this way?

Once you've identified causes for your unhappiness at work, reflect on the last time you were consistently satisfied in your job. If your unhappiness predates the pandemic, then it's likely there's a reason you're feeling this way - giving it another six months will only prolong the gloom.

If your feelings are more recent though, it could be pandemic related, and your need for change could be a response to feelings of restriction and uncertainty. In short, you may be looking to gain control over your life and, while a job change may look like a solution, it may not affect the bigger picture.

3. How would my ideal day be different?

Changing jobs is not a quick fix, so spend some time identifying what your ideal tomorrow looks like and practising this exercise every few weeks. This will help you to gain clarity over the situation. You should be able to work out exactly what you want from a role and if you can gain this in your current place of work. 

4. Have I explored every option with my employer?

There's a fine line between resolving your issues with work and whether you should even consider staying. If your job is causing significant mental or physical distress, it's likely time to resign. No role should have a negative impact on your health.

However, what you want from a new job may be within reach in your current position. While it's difficult if you're in a funk, adopt a solutions-focused mentality and negotiate what you want with your manager, such as flexible working or higher pay. Even if it doesn't pan out, at least you can be confident that you explored all options before making the decision to resign.

5. What could I gain by resigning?

Quitting your job can be very liberating, but it can be hard to convince yourself it's the right move - especially when it's all too easy to give it another month and see what happens. But by asking yourself what you could gain by quitting, framing this move in a positive light will help you to realise that you have plenty of market value. This is particularly so if you've been passed over for pay rises or promotions. A new job could be the reset you need to restore your faith in your talents.

6. What would I give up by resigning?

Yes, there is more to a role than just a pay cheque and doing your job, but don't assume the grass is definitely greener elsewhere. Changing jobs inevitably means compromise, so you must consider what you're willing to give up. This could be friends, a flexible routine, or benefits, for example. Clarity on what you're prepared to give up will help to create realistic expectations for a fresh start.

7. What do my friends and family say?

Using a trusted sounding board is particularly useful when making big decisions. Speaking with your friends and family about your thoughts can often help to shed light on things you hadn't considered. In addition, this may be a chance for the people that are closest to you to give feedback and an unbiased opinion on whether they think your job is or isn't the issue. Plus, big life decisions shouldn't be made alone, so by involving your friends and family, you'll feel supported throughout your journey.

Deciding whether now is the time to resign will always be difficult, and particularly so in the aftermath of a pandemic. But ask yourself these seven questions to build up a good picture of whether moving on is the next best step for you and, if it is, there's the opportunity to use the thriving job market to your advantage.

Are you leaning towards resigning? Try our free CV review service to get your CV ready to impress today's employers.

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