One question to ask yourself before you quit your job

Over the course of my career I’ve had lots of conversations with friends and colleagues who are interested in leaving their job. As an eternal optimist, I usually try to advocate for people to exhaust their means before pulling the plug in hopes that things turn around. However, we all have our own threshold and once it’s broken there’s no turning back.

Last week, I was speaking with a friend who was in a tough position at work and contemplating whether or not to leave for another opportunity. This was not our first discussion on this topic – We had actually had a similar conversation two years ago. Given that this was not their first rodeo, I walked through my usual list of questions such as:

  • What don’t you like?
  • What’s making you unhappy?
  • What could turn this around?

My final question was this: If you were to walk away, what would you miss most, and how would that make you feel? After mulling it over for an evening, the person emailed me back and told me that even though things weren’t great right now, they weren’t willing to give up some of the core things that were valuable to them in their current job. As such, they decided to stick it out for a few more months.

Sometimes it’s not about what the next job offers that is exponentially better than what you’re current situation offers, but rather, it’s about what you’d have to give up if you chose to leave. For people that have exhausted every opportunity and are ready to move on, a new opportunity could be exactly what’s needed. But for others, reframing the question to not what you’ll get but what you’ll have to give up might help you think through if you’re truly ready to move onto the next gig.

While the grass may seem greener, sometimes its not about the greener grass, but focusing on the grass you’re on. To illustrate this point, I’d like to share a status LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner shared today:

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