Are you feeling stuck in your career? Do you want to build your personal brand but don’t know how to start? It’s time to wake up to your dreams. The go-to life coach for Fortune 500 companies, Silicon Valley, and wellness pros like Dr. Mark Hyman and Elena Brower, Lauren Handel Zander guides you down the path toward the life you deserve with her new class, How to Build Your Personal Brand: Realize Your Mission & Craft Your Dream Career. Sign up now for over an hour of video instruction, exercises to maximize your growth, and interactive discussion boards to connect with Lauren and fellow students. Start loving your job today!
It's that time of year again: dark.
But what if it's not just the winter blues or whites (snow) that have you down and out at work? What if you've simply outgrown your job or reached a tipping point when it comes to the stress at work? Maybe you've changed your mind about what you want to do for a living? Or finally admitted to yourself that your life's mission has nothing to do with where you're at now.
It may be time to quit your job.
Most people don't come to this realization overnight but let it build up until something forces them into action—be it a sudden opportunity or a slow burnout. It's hard to pin down the pain point of a job you don't like when you're rationalizing the paycheck, the time commitment, the passion, the relationships, the investment…
It's a big decision! If you're feeling stuck but not clear on the next steps, consider weighing your current work situation against the following variables. If you can relate to any or all of them, it's time to plot out your exit strategy and move on to your next big thing.
1. You hate going in.
It's more than just a bad case of the Mondays. If you dread going to work every day, check what's going on with your inner dialogue on your commute to work. Proceed with caution. The competing voices in your head can make a very convincing argument about why the job stinks and how none of it is your fault. If you have attempted changes and you're still weighed down by a laundry list of general grievances (a toxic boss, an unrealistic commute, etc.) consider if it's worth 47-hours per week being that unhappy about issues beyond your control.
2. It's taking a toll on you.
Work isn't everything. A well-balanced life includes equal attention to all areas (at HG, we list 12 in total) from family, learning, love, adventure, body, and self. As the CEO of your own personal affairs, it's your utmost responsibility to allocate your time and energy across the spectrum in ways that are consistent with your dreams, not just your paycheck. If you are allowing your health, marriage, relationships, personal space, or emotional well-being to suffer in the background while you toil away at work, it's time to quit and do better for yourself.
3. You're not growing.
Personal growth doesn't come from places of comfort and ease. It happens when you accept challenges that push you out of your comfort zone. Even if you have a decent job, a great workplace or office friends, if you're stagnating, it's time to move on. You may have outgrown your position and found that there is no opportunity for advancement, or you may just be ready for change. Whatever the reason, don't let inertia stop you from moving forward.
4. Your dream is gone.
As Simon Sinek, an author on leadership and management states: The why is everything. People who feel passionate about the purpose of their work can sustain more productivity and ultimately more fulfilling careers than those who are motivated by money or circumstance alone. Do you not believe in the company? Does your work feel purposeless? Perhaps the initial appeal of the job has worn off and you are no longer connected to the bigger picture. Or maybe your dream has simply changed. You might be able to rationalize sticking it out at a well-paying position, but if your heart isn't in it, the weight of golden handcuffs will soon become a burden.
5. A better dreaming is calling you.
The biggest reason people stay at jobs they don't like can be boiled down to fear. What's your flavor of fear? Fear of the unknown, fear of making the wrong decision, fear of trying and failing? This is especially true for those who already know what they wish they were doing but haven't taken the necessary next steps. Reinvention is scary! Understand that fear is the driving cause of your discontent at work or anywhere. Understand that fear doesn't go away until you deal with it. Dealing with it means summoning the courage and integrity to forge a path that is true to you.
Though these scenarios are fairly straightforward indicators that your job isn't working out, only you can determine whether to hang in there or call it quits. Stay true to yourself and how you want to be at your job, even if you wish you were somewhere else. How you feel about yourself will factor greatly in whatever decision you make, whether you burn out and get fired or leave as the office star. Don't just quit without having another job lined up. Given you are not only the author of your life, you're its CEO—quitting your job before you have another or have enough money saved is not only irresponsible of your inner-CEO but your CFO, too.
Yes. Even if you're a company of one, there are seven hats you need to wear and not only wear—wear well. If you want to find out more about building a business from the inside (way inside) out, check out the online course I just led for mindbodygreen called Mission I'm Possible. In it you will learn how to manage your mind, leash your negative traits, and develop the ingredients (and hats!) you'll need to become a powerful leader and successful entrepreneur.
Lauren Handel Zander is the co-founder and chairwoman of Handel Group, an international corporate consulting and life coaching company. Her coaching methodology, The Handel Method®, is taught at over 35 universities and institutes of learning around the world, including MIT, the Stanford Graduate School of Business, NYU, and the New York City public school system. She currently lives in South Salem, New York, has her bachelor's in environmental studies from George Washington University, and is the author of Maybe It's You: Cut the Crap, Face Your Fears, Love Your Life. Handel Zander has spent over 20 years coaching thousands of private and corporate clients, including executives at Vogue, BASF, and AOL. She has been a featured expert in the New York Times, BBC, Forbes, Women’s Health, Dr. Oz, and Marie Claire, and is a regular contributor to Business Week and the Huffington Post.