When To Leave A Job You Don’t Love

Many of my clients have mentioned their concern of looking “flighty” if they leave a job before 2 years has passed.  They are fearful that this will communicate that they are not able to make a commitment.  This concern resonates to such a high degree that they are willing to stay at a job that is clearly a professional dead end.

Truth is, some potential employers may look at a resume with several 1-2-year duration jobs and think “Why can’t this person settle down?”.  The question is: Do you want this person to be your next employer?

Wouldn’t you rather work for the employer who gives the applicant the benefit of the doubt?

The one that thinks highly of the increased exposure?  

The one that recognizes that great employees who cannot grow within one system find a different system?

The way we work has completely changed and the wisest employers recognize that promotions, advancement, and professional development are just as important as pay.  Amazing employees who are at a job for over a year and have not taken a step up on the development ladder get bored and restless.

If you are at a job that is not “ringing your bell” despite your efforts to advance, improve, and grow…then you have not been given a reason to commit.  You do not owe your allegiance to an employer that does not meet your needs.

Given, this is not an excuse to leave your job because of a bad week, a failed project, or a denial in promotion.  This is not an excuse to leave a job before making efforts to challenge yourself and break into new areas.

Before leaving, consider how to improve your status.  The best bet is to find or create a role that would bring more meaning and joy to your workday.

But, if months of trying to remediate the feeling of being undervalued, underpaid, overworked, and/or bored have resulted in nada…then, it’s time to get ready to leave.

Before you leave, complete a self-assessment.  With each new experience, you will need to reassess your values, skills, and interests.  Determine what you need to be happy before you start interviewing.  In fact, bring these requirements to your current employer to see if they can help you fulfill them.  If they can’t or won’t…bye bye…someone else will.

Life is too short to work at job that you do not love.

To learn more about self-assessment and career planning, check out the online, self-study career planning course (worth 5 CPEUs). 

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About the Author

Devon L. Golem, PhD, RD is the founder of the Institute of Continuing Education for Nutrition Professionals. She has spent over a decade providing education and career guidance to nutrition students, interns, and professionals.

Connect with Devon on LinkedInTwitter, and Facebook.

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