Before You Jump Ship, Try This


Does your job leave you frustrated and exhausted? So much so that you find yourself walking out the door at the end of the day, never wanting to walk back in?

Do you have imaginary confrontations in your mind’s eye that end with you slamming out of your boss’s office declaring, “I quit”? Alternatively, have you recently lost your passion for what you do?

Sometimes, a career change is necessary to preserve a healthy work-life balance. Often, however, a change in your current position is all that is needed to rediscover joy in what you do. So, if you find yourself at your limit and ready to abandon ship, before you do, consider trying these strategies:


Proximity can skew perspective, and moving forward can often start with a step back. Are you taking life - or work - too seriously? Take a moment to revisit your values. Are you living these out? What about your strengths? Seek new opportunities to develop them. There is so much more to life than current troubles at work. Give yourself a moment to process, and make sure it has not gotten bigger than life.


Suffering in silence is not a virtue. Let your boss or HR manager know what you are facing. They may be able to suggest or approve some changes that would make all the difference for you. Do you need more resources or personnel to get the job done well? Is a change in policy required to improve workflow? Maybe getting out of the office or a work-from-home day would increase productivity and morale for you or your team. These are all conversations best held with your boss or appropriate party. Schedule a meeting today!


Have you experienced an addition or loss in the family? How is your health? What is the state of your important relationships? Have you moved recently or run into financial troubles? There are times when frustrations at work have little to do with work itself and more to do with a culmination of life’s pressures. Take some time to assess the difference. It could be that a little intentional self-care could unravel a majority of your work troubles.


Stuck in a rut? Try something different! Do you typically answer emails in the morning and make calls in the afternoon? Shake it up! You may find that conversation comes easier for you in the morning (results may vary, depending on the strength of your coffee). This is just one example of the little changes you can make that may have a significant impact. Routine can be an incredible asset, but lack of variety can also get stale. What’s one adjustment to the schedule you could make this week?


Could burn-out be clouding your judgment? Before making a big career decision, take a break to get perspective. Sadly, Americans as a whole tend to leave vacation days on the table. This leads to some issues such as low performance, fewer promotions and raises, and worst of all, the unavoidable stress. On the upside, something as simple as a vacation can affect the opposite with higher morale, greater production, personal fulfillment and improved health.


What’s your hobby? When is the last time you enjoyed it? If you do not like your answer to either of those questions, this may be a chance to reprioritize your life to include a hobby. Merriam-Webster defines a hobby as “a pursuit outside one's regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation.” The value of hobbies include improved quality of life, health benefits, and wait for it—increased productivity and satisfaction at work.


An athlete at the top of his game and a world-class musician have two things in common: a moment when they wanted to give up and…a coach. Is success eluding you? Feel like quitting your job? It may be time to hire a career coach. A coach can help facilitate the fresh perspective, encouragement, and confidence you need to move from drudgery to delight in your work.


As Earl Nightingale says, We are at our very best, and we are happiest, when we are fully engaged in work we enjoy on the journey toward the goal we have established for ourselves. It gives meaning to our time off and comfort to our sleep. It makes everything else in life so wonderful, so worthwhile.”

Take a moment to picture your current attitude towards your work, colleagues, direct reports, and supervisor. Are you happy and fully engaged? Now picture how you would like your approach to be. What’s the difference? What’s one thing that you can do in the next 24 hours to move toward your preferred attitude?

Then, as Nike trademarked, “Just Do It.”