Pain is an amazingly effective motivator. When we feel uncomfortable, we are more likely to make a change. When we change the thing that is causing the discomfort and find stasis again, life is good.
The problem is that we don’t always fix the right thing. If we don’t spend enough time and effort figuring out what is wrong, we are likely to make a change that doesn’t help, masks the problem with activity, and ultimately doesn’t help us.
Is it a stage?
Life has stages. In childhood, we learn our place in the world. In our 20s and 30s, we create our own family and begin our career. Our 40s are building years. We become senior members of teams in our 50s and 60s. Retirement and a slower pace can come in our 60s or 70s, or even 80s.
Each stage is characterized by changes in activities, emotions, goals, and pace. When I look back on my family’s early years, I wonder how I kept going as a single parent, often with more than one job. The answer is I was in my 20s and 30s, had lots of energy and even more optimism. Now, in a different stage of my life, the challenges are different.
Careers have stages, too. Consider whether you have entered a time when your life or your career is changing drastically. Is that change causing the problem? Will that improve if you quit your job, or will that circumstance follow you wherever you go?
Is it another problem?
Sometimes, we try to fix one thing by working on another. It usually doesn’t work, but often, we don’t realize that’s what we’re doing.
So, if your marriage has hit a rough patch, and you feel anxious and depressed most of the time, you may feel that way at work, too. However, changing jobs will likely not be the solution. If your youngest child is leaving home, a new job may take your mind off the problems at home “empty nest,” but it won’t solve them.
Understanding the problem that is causing you to feel uncomfortable and making sure that changing jobs will actually solve the problem are important first steps in the quitting process.
Career Coach Robyn Feldberg has compiled a list of 14 factors to consider before quitting your job. Answering the questions she poses is a great way to analyze what part of your job is making you want to quit. Find the list here.
If you’re contemplating quitting your job but are unable to move forward (or backward, for that matter) to get some relief from the problem, contact me right away. My Career Exploration Program can help clarify the issues and help you decide if you want to stay or go.