When deciding whether to leave an organization, it’s important to ask yourself a number of questions to make sure the reason for your discontent is real and not just temporary.

Choosing to leave a position is a decision that should never be made in haste or out of situational anger. Over my more than two decades of experience in recruitment, I have seen many employees get ticked off and resign their position, only to end up in a worse employment situation! Some of these professionals have even returned to their previous employer after realizing the grass was, in fact, not greener on the other side.

Although not to be considered lightly, there are times when considering a change in employers makes perfect sense, or can even be considered necessary.

If you find yourself pondering the question of “should I stay or should I go?”, ask yourself these questions:

Am I considering leaving because I am angry over one situation or has the same situation continually occurred over the past 6-12 months?

  • We seem to live in a world filled with the need for immediate gratification – one where we think we deserve to have everything delivered to us on a silver platter without having to wait.   If you had a blowup with your boss for the first time, it’s not really time to leave. If this is a situation that is continuous or considered an epidemic, it may be time to run!

Do I respect my boss?

  • This is a loaded question for some and is not to be an issue of likeability but of respect. Daily, we may not like our bosses because they expect a lot out of us, they challenge us, they tell us something about ourselves we didn’t like, or they didn’t give us something we wanted. In the end, many of these bosses can be the greatest gift we receive by making us work smarter, become more proficient, and create the stepping stones for our careers. It’s like my wife used to say to our kids: “I may not like you right now but I will always love you!” If, on the other hand, you can honestly say you do not respect your boss and there is no hope in transferring within the organization, it might be time to look elsewhere!

Have I expressed my needs or concerns? 

  • So many times I have witnessed an employee complain or worse yet, quit over an unresolved issue that was never brought up!  It’s difficult to hold an employer accountable for addressing an issue or other item that they know nothing about.  I can’t tell you how many times I have heard an employer say “I didn’t even know that was an issue for him/her” when a team member resigned.  Now this is a two-way street – if you bring up an issue and it is not addressed over time, it may be time to pack up and leave.  Please note, I did not say that the employer should give you want you want every time you ask.  Addressing the issue could be a simple no – but at least you know where you stand and you can make a more informed decision.

Am I continuing to learn?

  • Doing the same job day after day without learning new skills is a sign you are headed to burnout.  If you have approached your boss and expressed your desire to take on greater challenges, learn new roles, and contribute more to the organization only to be stonewalled with excuses like “we don’t cross-train here” or “thanks for the interest, we will see” for more than 6 months, it might be time to look at options.  Option #1 would be to see if you can change bosses, however, option number 2 could always mean goodbye!

Am I spending more time dealing with office politics than doing my job?

  • Your first option should be to try and be part of the solution to the problem, however, sometimes office politics can be so ingrained in the organization it makes it tough to be motivated to do your job.  If you have spoken up with solutions and nothing changes, freshen up your resume.