When should you get up and get out?
What should you do when you’ve concluded that your current gig isn’t satisfying you and doesn’t present the potential you once thought it had?
Most of us are familiar with this dilemma because few experiences in life deliver exactly what we expect of them; anticipation is high but results often disappoint.
If you feel that you’re at a point where you have to make some sort of a move, consider taking these actions.
Take a time-out
Consider whether you are truly at the point of no return. It could be that you’ve had a temporary mental setback; something triggered your need to get out.
See if you can figure out what the causes of your feelings to make a move could be and whether or not you should act on them.
I’ve seen people react to what they feel is a bona fide need to move on, only to regret it later. So be sure.
There is usually a huge emotional push behind the urge to move and it’s important to hold it at bay until you understand it and know that it’s justified.
Talk to your boss
Your boss is responsible for the performance development process for your team, so hold them accountable.
Arrange to meet with them to discuss where you are in your career; get their feedback on your current performance as well as the potential for you to do more for the organization in a variety of other positions.
At this point, you need some facts about where you are in the organization to assess whether a move is a right thing to do. Are you seen as a high potential individual or someone who has some challenges to overcome?
And if you don’t have a formal process for reviewing performance, take the initiative to have it done regardless.
Talk to your mentors
Discuss your situation with the people you’ve trusted to give you sage advice in the past.
Get their perspective on what might be driving your desire for change; often we can’t “see the forest for the trees” but others can.
And be sure to validate your boss’s views on your potential; your mentor might see things differently and may have some useful tips for you.
Re-examine your goals
Perhaps your urge is due to the fact that you have subconsciously changed your views on what you want to achieve in the long term, and this is creating the angst you feel in your current situation.
Reviewing your goals regularly is always a good idea but in circumstances of disruption, it is critical. The last thing you want to do is make a move that is inconsistent with an end game that has changed.
I used to review my career game plan on a regular basis; in times of “stability” when you are able to think about things without the emotional pressure of feeling you have to make a change.
Take a baby step
I’m a fan of taking a step, learning, then taking another step.
It’s the most effective way of determining whether you’ve made the right decision. Obviously taking a ginormous leap has high risk associated with it, so see if you can take a less risky and more incremental move to see if you’ve made a good choice.
Dipping your little toe in the waters of change is a practical option that should be always be considered as a tool to see whether your conclusion to make a move was the right one. If one dip tells you that your move isn’t working out, stop and consider another option.
Getting out of your job makes sense if you are facing new opportunities that will satisfy your short and long term needs. So it’s important to do your due diligence on whether now is the right time.
Do your work.