When Quitting is the Right Thing To Do


By Odette Pollar,

Leaving individual performance issues aside, there are any number of variables that can affect your satisfaction at work. Mergers, acquisitions and wholesale management changes can turn an ideal job into a dead-end or boring one. Since all jobs have challenges and disappointments, how can you tell when it is time to leave?

Job Duties Change Radically

Often due to a reorganization or merger, your position alters and your daily duties differ dramatically from what they were initially. If those new duties are neither satisfying, interesting nor exciting, it may be time to make a change. If the new responsibilities are a downgrade of some sort or push you aside, there may be fewer opportunities to shine, grow, or be promoted. It may have become a dead-end for you. Look around first, however, for something that suits you better within your same company before jumping ship entirely.

Unethical or Illegal demands

You are on a work team and discover a design flaw that will cause your customers problems. You call attention to this and are told that meeting the delivery deadline is more important than the quality of the product. Or you sit on a team interviewing a candidate. During the later discussions, two of your team members find the candidate unacceptable for arbitrary reasons, such as his or her weight or age and accompany that with jokes and nasty comments. When you report the situation, your company doesn't respond. Or, you learn that senior management condones the practice of promising attractive advantages and benefits but not delivering on those promises. Luring people by misrepresentation of the financial stability of the company or commitment to a division which later turns out to be ailing or dying.

The Organization's Values or Politics are Unacceptable

The culture within a company can alter radically with new owners or a new management team, resulting in a misfit. Your job may remain the same, but there may be a loss of status or privilege or reduction in responsibilities. You may find yourself suddenly being ignored or your ideas unacknowledged. When values change, such as when profit outweighs ethics, or where volume becomes more important than quality, you may no longer be in alignment with the company.

Never Know What to Expect at Work

In a highly volatile industry or a fast-paced startup, you may find that you are asked to do whatever needs to be done but there does not seem to be much rhyme or reason to the assignments. If the tasks require different sets of skills, you may never feel that you learn anything thoroughly, or become comfortable with your skills. If you are in a constant learning curve and worry continually about failing and are under high stress with no end in sight, it sounds like a poor fit. New skill acquisition in a learning organization is different from being overwhelmed with no end in sight.

Your Industry or Company is Unstable

If your industry is unstable, in radical transition, or its very survival in question, you may choose to unhitch your wagon from the train. In order to make an intelligent decision about such a serious move, you should not rely solely on the bulletins your company puts out. Keep up on the competitive information and economic trends of your industry overall. Technological changes which can impact healthy industries must also be watched. Business journals, trade publications, and sometimes a good news magazine will help deliver this information.

Your Field Has Changed, But You Have Not

It is not only industries that change, but positions and entire job categories. Think about the changes in commercial graphic design. Freehand art and illustration skills are required much less often now. Designers are now required to use computer aided graphics software. And printers are heavily impacted. They no longer shoot plates; they print straight from a disk. Strippers who work on print negatives are no longer needed. Smaller print shops are going digital or out of business. If you are unable or are unwilling to learn new skills, the writing is on the wall. Be proactive and begin your job search or gain new skills which will allow you to grow and thrive.

Odette Pollar is a nationally known speaker, author, and consultant. President of the management consulting firm, Smart Ways to Work based in Oakland, CA, her most recent book is Surviving Information Overload. Email to share your comments, questions and suggestions: odette@SmartWaysToWork.com. Visit us at: www.smartwaystowork.com call: 1-800-599-8463.

SOURCE: http://www.smartwaystowork.com/columns/careermanage/whenquitting.php

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