Quitting a job is a big deal. So is staying in a job that’s not working for you.
Lots of people stay for the steady income, benefits and retirement package (and the known evil). I believe there’s a big cost to that thinking. Here’s a reality check.
Get out a piece of paper and write “Reality Check” at the top of the page. You’re getting a reality check about whether you HAVE to stay!
Write down: what you earn and what you spend to get to/from work, including parking and tolls and gas and all that stuff.
Write down how many hours a week you spend working.
Write down what you have in retirement and what you need to live on when you retire.
Write down how you feel at the end of the workday. What’s your mood about work? Write down what the job is costing you!
Then do the homework and fill in the blanks. Yes, it may take work to get the numbers.
Numbers are important: most of us are not specific about what we want from a job- we don’t know how much we want to earn (and we don’t ask for it), we don’t know what we want to be doing in ten years, we don’t advocate for raises and promotions, or get clarity about what’s possible. We back away from the hard truths and we don’t ask! How can we make good decisions without the bottom line?!
Now, turn the page over and write “What’s possible” at the top of the page.
Think hard and write down the bottom line salary that you need to earn to get by. What could you live on for the next year? What would you save if you weren’t commuting or paying for parking? How much money do you need into your golden years? If you didn’t commute, how much money would you save? How much time would you have for yourself, your family and friends? How would you like to feel at the end of the day?
Take a long look at what you’ve written down, see where you might have wiggle room, and reflect on how you feel. You’re getting a reality check about whether you HAVE TO stay.
Now think about, what IS possible?! Staying in your current job? A promotion? No job? A “bridge job or contract? Your current job and a job search?
What’s important here is to pay attention to your financial needs and the emotional and physical cost of your current situation. Can you afford to stay? What is it costing you?
The value of a bridge:
Many of us don’t have the time and energy to fulfill the duties of a full time job and do a decent job search. If you do, then go for it!
If not, I often recommend a bridge job when your current job is too demanding to allow for a good job search or when someone is bitter and resentful. A bridge job gives you breathing room to recover, restore your self-esteem and make time for a thoughtful job search. It could be a few consulting contracts, a part-time job or a lower paying professional job close to home.
What’s your reality? Is it time for a bridge, a good job search plan and accountability, or some financial advice?! As always, feel free to contact me for support and guidance.