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Should You Quit Your Job? Answer These Questions to Find Out

Ever wonder why a friend or family member can’t recognize it’s time to leave a job? Warning signs are everywhere. Their chronic stress is corrosive, their work is unsatisfying, and all their “opportunities” move them as far forward as a stationary bike. Telling them to quit rarely budges them. They need to figure it on their own.

Now what if that was you? You’d want to know when it’s time to leave before a toxic job does any more damage, right? No worries! With the start of the New Year, we’ve created a quick questionnaire to help you determine that question of questions: should you quit your job?

Are You Paddling Nowhere?

When you work hard, what is the end result? Do you have chances for your skills to grow? Are you able to get promoted? If your growth is static, you won’t be driven to be your best.

Dan Pink, author and workplace thought leader, finds that money and rewards don’t work to motivate. They’re called extrinsic motivators and for most of today’s jobs, where the tasks involve in-depth thought, studies find that they actually stifle creativity. Pink says people need to be paid enough for salary to not be a concern, but what really motivates them to produce are three factors: autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

When chances to grow and/or rise through the ranks aren’t there, engagement drops off (it’s that lack of mastery and autonomy). So, if you don’t have a chance to push yourself in new ways, you aren’t going to be fully committed to the job at hand. Stasis holds back your future, so the sooner you quit your job and get out of an inactive work space, the better.

Are Your Skills Underutilized?

Beyond learning new skills, does your job offer daily ways to reinforce what you already know? Memory is not static. Skills need to be practiced and reinforced lest they fade. The reason why depends on the complexity of the human brain.

As you learn new things, your brain is constantly getting rewired. New neural pathways are being formed as you learn new skills on the job, at home, and through your hobbies. Repetition and practice creates myelin: a white, insulating sheath around nerves and neural pathways that enhances memory. And that myelin, when developed in large quantities, speeds up recall.

Unless you have practiced and repeated a skill enough times to form a strong and fast route for recall, your brain may take longer to retrieve necessary steps. When you eventually return to the job market, your underutilized skills may damage performance on skills tests and slow adjustment to any new job. Quitting your job sooner than later prevents skills decay.

Are You Constantly Overwhelmed?

Are you overloaded with work? Do you spend most of your time on “do-or-die” projects that pop up unexpectedly? Running around with a fire extinguisher is not a good use of your time. In fact, it can be damaging to your own professional growth.

Remember Dan Pink’s third factor for productivity? Purpose is indispensable to engagement. A Deloitte survey found that when people feel they work at a “purpose-driven” company, 73 percent of them are engaged. In those cases, they feel that their work contributes to something larger than themselves, something they’ve seen grow through their day-to-day tasks. There’s a story that emerges which makes their work feel worthwhile.

Regularly being pulled into red-alert projects makes it harder for people to feel a purpose. If you don’t feel there’s a larger purpose to what you do, then your productivity will suffer unless you move on to a better purpose-driven job.

Are You Given Clear Leadership?

Strong leadership is just as important to your growth and daily performance. Do you have support from your supervisor? Can you reach out and ask for direction when you encounter unique new challenges? Are you provided with both strong management and leadership (there’s a difference)? If not, your career may be stunted.

No one is truly self-made. Mentors provide new lessons and reinforce our skills. A boss doesn’t always need to be a mentor, but your career won’t be as strong otherwise.

Plus, poor leadership can make you ineffective and your job toxic. One study finds that poor leadership often blurs company vision and direction (say adios to a sense of purpose), increases stress, and leaves employees feeling abused. Do you really want to deal with that day in and day out? If you’re living with a bad boss, it might be time to move on.

Are You In a Bad Job?

Staying in a bad job for a prolonged period of time affects your prospects down the line. And now is the perfect time to quit your job and look for something new.

During this time of year, we see budgets opening up as companies make their plans for the New Year. A Dice survey found that 61 percent of hiring managers and recruiters plan to hire IT professionals in 2016. Don’t waste any more time in a bad job. Check our IT job openings and get your career back on the right track.

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