Pro Career

Unhappy at Work? Here’s 4 tips to consider before quitting

According to the latest TradeMe Jobs Employer & Job Hunter Intentions Report released in April, almost 6 in 10 Kiwis are keeping an eye out for a new job or would be open to a role if the opportunity came up.

This comes as no surprise; the last two and half years have taken their toll, with many feeling burnt out, disengaged and unhappy in their professional lives.

With unemployment at its lowest rate in years, job hunters with good skills will have more options available to them, however, changing jobs is a big decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly. So, if you’re unhappy in your current role, what to do? Here are four ideas for starters:

1. Don’t quit your job – improve it 

Before you decide to through in the towel and make any decisions you might regret, I would highly recommend completing a review of your current role and being very clear on why you want to make a change. Use this review to identify changes that could make a difference to your job fulfilment and create a proposal to talk through with your manager. You’d be surprised at the number of times my clients have made changes (some of them very small) which have made a world of difference. Most managers and employers I’ve had dealings with are fairly supportive of this approach.

2. Consider the big picture

The big picture involves considering factors outside of your actual work tasks, for example, the location of your workplace being handy for school pick up, or you have some big bills to pay and your current remuneration allows you to do this. I’m not saying to stay in a role if it’s causing you distress, but no job is 100% perfect 100% of the time, so if the good times outweigh the bad, then consider whether you’re content to accept the reality of your job at this point of time.

3. Take a break

Often, being in the thick of things day in day out can raise emotions and cloud judgement around the reality of a situation. If you’re able to take annual or unpaid leave to remove yourself from your role and have a genuine break – with the express purpose of giving yourself space to review your situation – this may increase clarity and help you to make better informed decisions on next steps.

4. Engage a careers professional

Friends and family may mean well, but sometimes their advice is just not helpful… or there may be conflicting motives. For example, I once had a client whose husband who didn’t want her to leave her well-paying but high stress exec role as it would’ve meant him playing golf less often. For the best outcomes, work through your options with an impartial expert who will support you through the process, help you to consider all the dynamics at play and feel confident with the decisions you’re making. Considering the huge amount of time and mental energy we dedicate to our jobs, investing in a careers advisor is worth its weight in gold.