Thinking about changing your job! Even though we have been doing to absurdity, the New Year is still the time for resolutions. And for many, the thought is ‘This year I’m really going to change jobs.” Well hold on a moment. Before you jump out of your airplane and pull the ripcord hoping to land in new job territory, possibly some soul searching is necessary. And you just may find that things aren’t so terrible after all.

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Here are some suggestions to consider before leaping. Understand this is not an all-inclusive list. Every individual has different needs and obligations but possibly some of these introspective questions can help.

Remember in our earlier articles we suggested an analysis of yourself, this ultimately and hopefully led you to developing a Career/Life Plan. Well if you are a new reader, or one who possibly didn’t read my earlier articles, or if you did the exercises and then put them in a drawer, it’s time to get busy.

Here are my top questions for 2020 to answer before leaving the airplane.

  1. What do you really want to do?
  2. What do you find fascinating about your life and your work?
  3. What would you like most to improve about yourself?
  4. What do you least like about your work?
  5. What do you enjoy most about your outside activities?
  6. List the top five values you feel are most important for you.
  7. List five words or short phrases that best describe you.
  8. Describe, in a few short phrases or sentences the work environment in your company and department at work.
  9. List three challenging issues or problems you seem to regularly encounter or have post recently experienced at work.
  10. If you could eliminate or change any of these issues what effect would it have for you on the job and at home (i.e. more productivity, greater quality, etc.)?
  11. Why do you want to leave your current work/job?

Work for Your careerIf you have responded to these questions with honesty, if you have considered these issues using both your head and your heart; possibly you’ll find the true answer is not leaving but recommitting your energies to yourself, your family and your employer.

Sometimes a simple course change rather than a radical new direction is the best approach. Today, many employers are more receptive to their employees needs and goals. If you are comfortable that your contributions to your organization have been meaningful. If you believe the work you have done has truly added value for your company. If you feel you have maintained a positive, cooperative attitude while trying to participate eagerly with others, most employers value these traits.

Rather than leaving I suggest you develop a list of three to five goals you would like to achieve within the next six months you believe would make you feel more comfortable with your current employer. With these goals in hand and the knowledge that you bring value to your organization, have a talk with your supervisor. Notice I suggest a discussion, not an ultimatum or a threat to leave. Discuss how you feel, what issues or pressures you are experiencing and how you have come up with some possible suggestions which would make you more comfortable with your job and your life. Try to link these possible changes with positive quantifiable outcomes for your organization such as greater productivity, higher quality, better enthusiasm, etc. Be willing to compromise, remember implementation of some of your suggestions may take time. Approach the discussion with an open mind, it is probably unrealistic to expect to receive everything you ask for, and be patient. Don’t expect immediate answers. Just as you took time to analyze your contributions and career/life aspirations allow your supervisor to come up with some ideas. Mutual problem solving works best.

Understand, ultimately you may decide to leave. However, giving your employer a chance may result in developing a greater respect for each other. Even if you do leave, you will have a clearer path to follow, and will have left building bridges rather than burning bridges. A professional attitude can do wonders for one’s psyche and usually pays off in future earnings. It is always better to eagerly run to a new job rather than run away from the former job. Good luck.

Have a successful and healthy New Year.