A few weeks ago, we had a student email WayUp asking about her next career move: “I just realized that I’m not committed to a job I signed up for. What should I do?”
We’ve all been there. You were so excited to get hired and kill it in your new role–but things didn’t quite work out the way you planned. Maybe your co-workers have gotten under your skin, or you’ve found that you don’t really care about what you’re doing. Life is short, you think, so why not just quit?
If things have gotten really bad, then yes, it’s important to start thinking about your exit strategy, but at the same time, you have to play devil’s advocate and consider if making a move is the right move. If you’re thinking about calling it quits, ask yourself the following 3 questions.
Have I made enough of an impact?
Employers will raise their eyebrows when they find a quick transition from an old job to a new one on your resume. With the right approach, this can be explained, but what can’t be explained is a lack of results.
It’s best to stay put if you haven’t been at the company long enough to have a “big win” — whether that involves recruiting more users than any other intern in the program, taking on extra shifts to support customers’ needs or writing the highest performing article of the month. Wherever you apply next, employers will have some tough questions for you, so be forward-thinking: Companies will be far less likely to doubt you if they see measurable results.
Am I still learning new things?
Maybe expectations are high at your new workplace, and you feel like you can’t live up to them. Maybe it feels like you’re being set up for failure instead of success.
As hard as each day may be, if you’re still being challenged and you’re surprising yourself with how much you can take on, it’s not time to call it quits. It’s so important to know what you’re able to accomplish, and the only way to do that is to accept each responsibility that comes your way and attempt to master it. Even if your role isn’t quite the right fit, you can grow a few transferrable skills that will help your career later on down the line.
If this position is putting you out of your comfort zone, then it’s an opportunity that can strengthen you rather than break you. Take it as a chance to learn something new: It never hurts to have a new skill in the workforce.
Do you know what you want to do next?
Part of the advantage of applying to an internship or job is that you get to figure out what you like and don’t like in a career – but running away from a job or internship without a game plan is not beneficial to your happiness. There’s always the possibility that you’ll end up in another position where you’re just as unsatisfied as you are now.
Chrissy Allen, a fashion buyer at women’s brand MILLY, was convinced that it was time for her to leave the fashion industry. She consulted a mentor who cautioned her to never jump away from a challenge or issue: “You should feel compelled to jump toward something.”
Take some time for yourself to figure out your career passion before making a move. Seek guidance from your friends, professors, career services and even WayUp– we’re your biggest resource and we’re happy to help with all your career questions.
Deciding whether to stay or go is a tough process that can have a lot of consequences either way – so make sure you put a lot of thought into it! If you do decide to quit, remember that WayUp is here for you!