4.6 years. That's the average length of time someone stays at a job in the United States according to government statistics. Let’s face it. There are some really pathetic jobs out there. And I have had my share, especially when I was younger! It is now estimated that the typical worker will have 12 different careers over their lifetime. And the younger a person, the more frequently they will make a change.
There are many reasons for this high rate of change including wanting a better boss, greater pay, shorter commute, different town, or more engaging work. Such changes can be good since they provide new experiences and opportunities for personal and professional growth. Yet, quitting your job can also be a sign of something going on in you… something not so noble or healthy. Before you quit, ask yourself these questions.
1. Do you even know why you want to quit?
Sometimes, people get an itch, but they are not sure what is causing it. Is it money? Is it the people? How about the boss? The commute? Or perhaps, is your personal life so unsatisfying (but since that is not easy to say or fix) that you have unknowingly transferred this onto your job?
2. Are you chronically discontent?
When it comes to satisfaction in life, U2’s classic song “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” can serve as a theme song for so many Americans. Spouses, finances, homes, cars and… jobs. There is a lot of churning, and for some, it may be a sign of something much deeper – a hole that’s not ever going to be filled by any of it.
3. Are you looking for something that doesn’t exist?
I often say, if you ever get to a place where you love 80% of your job, you should especially stop and thank God! No one gets the perfect position with the perfect boss with the perfect salary, all located 1.5 miles from your home. In other words, be sure your expectations are realistic.
4. Have you done everything you can to improve what you have?
You may have heard it said, “The grass is greener on the other side, but it still has to be mowed.” Are you managing your mindset in your present job? Are you investing your all in adding value and improving relationships? Are you seeking out opportunities to improve yourself and the organization?
5. Have you asked for some truthful advice from a wise friend?
One of the frequent reminders from the Biblical book Proverbs is to seek good advice! And seek it from someone who will ask good questions and not just tell you what you want to hear. Remember, “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” Proverbs 27:6
6. Are you as good as you think you are?
Sit down and take a deep breath. Sometimes we think more highly of ourselves than we ought to. Remember, you may already be making more than anyone else will pay you, yet you are dissatisfied. It is a humbling and sober reminder when you think you are highly marketable and discover that you cannot even get an interview. This does not mean you are not valuable, but it may mean that you shouldn’t assume you will have employers fighting over you.
Make sure you have sound reasoning before taking the big step of quitting your job.
Jay Desko is the Executive Director of The Center and serves on the Senior Leadership Team at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. Jay brings experience in the areas of ministry assessment, leadership coaching, decision-making, and strategic questioning. Jay’s degrees include a B.S. in Bible, a M.Ed in Instructional Systems Design and a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and Leadership.