“Should I quit my job?” This is the question many amazing leaders are asking themselves every morning as they get ready for their day. Although they love their colleagues and make meaningful changes that affect the organization, it isn’t enough. So why do they feel unsettled? Why are the questions beginning to swirl as to whether they should continue in the work they’re doing or begin looking at other options? If this sounds familiar, and you’ve been in quiet limbo, you are not alone. Many professionals confront this issue and are too afraid to speak the words. To help answer the question, here are three questions to consider as you contemplate your future.
Are you interested in what you’re learning in your current environment?
At Y Scouts, we believe that exceptional leaders Learn Relentlessly. We feel so strongly about this concept that this core principle is the “third leg of the stool” when it comes to our Y Scouts Leadership Model. Great leaders find ways to learn and grow in any environment. They are committed to their own development and own experiences. This simply becomes a question of interest. As an example: I may be an incredible people leader who enjoys solving complex organizational problems, but if there’s a need for me to create complex compensation plans in excel for 3 hours a day for weeks on end, am I learning? Yes. I’m learning formulas I may have never known before. I’m learning features I never knew existed. Yes, I’m learning. It simply may not interest me. Take a good hard look at what you’re learning and consider whether it is something that excites you.
Do you feel that your colleagues meet your professional relationship needs?
Some leaders love the excitable energy, continual conversations, late-night brainstorming sessions with various business partners. Others prefer a more solitary approach to work, working only with key individuals when needed for problem-solving or strategy. Whatever your preference, it’s critical to understand how you determine whether your professional relationships are meaningful (or not). If you find them lacking, assessing the gaps and putting a plan together to rectify them, is a strong first step. If there’s simply too much misalignment, clarifying your needs for the future is vital.
Do you feel fulfilled in the work you’re doing?
Aligning ourselves to our organizational mission or purpose statement is only step one of this important concept. Our good friends at Imperative, an organization committed to creating purpose and fulfillment in work, recently published a study explaining that of all the individuals surveyed, only 1% of the population reported being fulfilled in life, but not at work. In other words, almost all of the respondents who feel fulfilled in their lives, also feel fulfillment in their professional environment as well. It’s crucial to examine how fulfilled we feel in our current opportunity as it directly impacts our overall assessment of our lives.
Before you ask yourself, “Should I quit my job?” perhaps you should take a step back and consider the above questions. Perseverating about the future without intentional action will only cause anxiety. Taking the time for introspection, journaling your initial responses, and discussing these thoughts with a trusted advisor will help bring the clarity you desire as you make vital decisions about the next steps in your leadership journey.