Since the pandemic, many people vowed to change their careers to improve their lives. Now, a couple of years have passed since the Great Resignation, but there’s still the ongoing trend of quiet quitting. The fact is, people are tired, and if you are someone who is looking to make a change, you’ve got to address some of the following components.
Understanding what is frustrating you
Sometimes, if we can understand the problem, we can take steps towards solving it. Lots of people make the mistake of thinking that the work environment is failing them or the job is the problem, but people can fail to understand what they’re truly frustrated with. It could be that you are stifled creatively, and therefore, you may not need to quit but merely find something outside of your work environment.
On the other hand, if the role and the environment are unbearable, you can make an appointment with HR. If the problem is more that you are irritated with the role, you need to decide if you can tolerate the job while looking elsewhere. Sometimes, a sideways step is what we need, especially if we’re doing a role like analytics that covers a number of different components. While there are different types of analytic jobs you should first get to the root of the issue, which usually means that it’s not actually the job itself, especially if you have only found yourself growing frustrated over the last few years.
Will leaving your job give you the freedom you want?
If you are in a working environment that’s not abusive and you can tolerate it, you can spend time trying to improve it by changing your work habits or making your feelings known. But there can be times when we feel like we are incredibly stifled by our work situation. It’s always important to do a very simple pros and cons list, but rather than thinking that as long as the pros outweigh the cons you should tolerate it for now, you might want to take inspiration from those people who have been setting up their own businesses because they’ve grown frustrated with the lack of freedom in their role.
When people quit their job, they think they just need to start networking and will find something very soon. The reality is that you may have a perfect career in mind, but it may not give you the freedom or flexibility you need. When making any career change, you’ve got to look at the realities of the situation. You may have harboured dreams of being a lawyer, but this means you’ve got to go back to education and retrain, but also recognise that something like the law profession requires you to ply your trade for a number of years for a very low wage. Lots of people are struggling with their wages, and if you are in a job that is making you anxious but pays well, it’s not something you should tolerate for the sake of your health. But you still need to figure out exactly what you want, and then ask yourself how much you really want this.
How realistic are you being?
We can feel so frustrated with our job for so many reasons, but taking a leap from one job to the next is never simple anymore. The way it used to be in the 1960s and 70s was that you could walk out of one job in the morning and find yourself in another one by the afternoon. When it comes to getting your next job, especially in a sector you have no experience in, you’ve got to take a long, hard look at yourself and discover what you are lacking. You may need to go back to the drawing board and retrain or start volunteering or use your current skill set to position yourself for the next move that, hopefully, over time, can take you into your ideal career.
A common oversight that people make is that they can take a leap from two diametrically opposed sectors, for example, going from the retail sector into something like a creative career, but the fact is that you’ve got to look at how many steps it takes to get to that point. Incrementally moving over by doing some freelancing on the side and spending your free time refining your skills to showcase how suitable you would be in your ideal role can be the best solution. When you look at it from the perspective of an employer, they are less likely to take a punt on someone who has a background in retail when they want to work in writing. There are, of course, exceptions to the rule, but for the vast majority of us, we’ve got to make sure that we are being as realistic as possible.
Do your loved ones support you?
Leaving your job is not just going to affect you, but it will affect other people in your life. If we have hit saturation point and have grown so frustrated with our job, we may need to have a few backup plans. It’s always a good idea to save as much money as possible, especially if you are planning your exit strategy. It’s a good idea to have at least six months of expenses put aside. A financial rule you can use is the 50-30-20 rule, where you put 50% of your earnings into the essentials like your mortgage, bills, or credit card, 30% into the things you want in life, and 20% into savings.
Once you’ve got enough aside, you can then claim as many benefits as necessary to give you an extra buffer, and this can also make things easier on your dependents, but also yourself. Signing on for benefits can be a very demoralising experience, especially when you see your finances fritter away, but this is why creating that cushion, and also ensuring that you have a support system of friends or close colleagues that can keep you on track while looking for a new role, can make all the difference.
Leaving a job is a massive decision, and sometimes we have no choice but to do it for the sake of our sanity, but if you consider some of these components, this can soften the landing when you take that leap.