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To jump or not to jump; that is the question

At our last CV workshop, another very familiar subject came up yet again. The question came from an individual, yet resonated with almost all of the group’s attendees – and the same question comes up with such regularity that I thought it might be worth sharing my thoughts as a recruiter with you…

To quit or not to quit; that is the question…

The first scenario was should somebody who is unhappy in their current, stable role quit without anything to go to?  On the face of it, this might seem like madness, especially given the current economic climate, but the individual concerned was so afraid of wasting more time in a role and company that she disliked (and which consumed all of her effort and energy) , that she was willing to forego the salary and stability, and launch herself into an uncertain future!  The delegate – let’s call her Anna – had passed all the various stages of feeling mildly bored, through actively looking for something else, and had finally reached ‘desperation point’.  At this stage, Anna just wanted to quit, and do something – anything – else; something radical, something life-changing.  The problem, of course, is that Anna didn’t know what to do…and the same uncertainty that had dominated her work life to this point was also preventing her from taking the brave decision to quit.

My instinctive reaction is that in a recession, any stable job which offers transferrable skills and generates an income is better than the alternative.  Too many good people are trying to find a job they love – and having to settle for the first thing which comes along.  Last night’s group also consisted of several others who had turned down a job when they first started to look, only to realise that it was the best option they’d received until now.  A ‘bird in the hand’ springs to mind…

Also, to quote another saying, this time involving the words ‘frying pan’ and ‘fire’, there is no guarantee that the next job you take is going to leave you any more fulfilled than your current role.  I could go on with the sayings, which all warn of the same thing: ‘act in haste, repent at leisure’ – swap ‘haste’ for ‘desperation’ and you can see what I mean.

In the end, the group collectively managed to persuade Anna not to ‘jump’ without anything to go to, at least not for the time being.  Instead, we convinced her to turn her frustration to research, looking introspectively at her interests, hopes and wishes, and my top tips for ‘how to find something more fulfilling’ is the subject for my next blog post…

Many of us have reached a similar impasse in the past, and I’d be interested to hear from anybody who has.  What did you decide?  Did you ‘do the right thing’, whatever that was?  Feel free to respond below or email me on Julian@iamenterprises.co.uk

By: Julian Smith
Director – I Am Enterprises

2 Responses

  1. I’ve seen something similar in people (ex-colleagues) who stayed on until they were so sick and tired of it all they fell out with their managers. That’s definitely not a good way to leave your company. I just published a post about things one could do just to get a sense of where you want to go. Looking forward to your next blog post!

  2. I don’t think jumping is a good idea for most people, until they know where they are jumping to. But if you find your current job is squeezing so much of your time, perhaps you can look at changing career gradually. Build a part time consultancy or social business on the side. Go part time in your current work while you apply for new jobs and network actively. Or test out the idea you have of what you want to do by volunteering or some other way to do what you are doing temporarily.

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