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Before you quit your job, read this!

Why is it we think we should quit our jobs when we stop feeling excited and energized? Do we get bored once the learning curve flattens out? Do we always think other pastures are greener? Does social media play a role in making us think "everyone" has it better than us? Maybe it's like the Jerry McGuire movie, we expect work to "complete us."

Examine why you want to leave. Ask yourself if you're unhappy with other life circumstances. Maybe it's your marriage. Maybe it's your stressful home life or financial woes. Work is an easy target to blame for your overall unhappiness. If you leave a job in search of happiness when the real unhappiness is within you, you'll end up right back where you started.

It's like your friend who always had a boyfriend. She was never single for more than a few days before she had another guy draped on her like a knock-off purse. She relied on a guy to make her feel like she mattered, to give her value. She didn't know how to find fulfillment outside a relationship. Are you expecting work to "make" you happy? Examine what really fulfills you instead of relying on work to fill your bucket.

Listen to my podcast episode #27, but here are some ways to find fulfillment outside work before you jump ship for a new job:

  1. Figure out what your strengths are. As humans, we're wired to be happiest when we're doing what we're best at, so if you don't know your strengths, you can't expect to do more of them. There are free ones like High Five Test or you can pay for Strength Finder (gallup). Or, ask your friends and family what you're "known for." Are you the coupon queen, the gardening guru, the honest Abe, the life of the party, or the book worm? Dig deeper. Why are you good at these things? Are you introspective, focused, a natural teacher, a get'r done type?

  2. Investigate your passions by remembering what you loved to do as a child or teenager (legal activities). If you can't remember, go to a library or bookstore and see which topics fascinate you.

  3. Ask yourself if you're miserable in other areas of your life, but blaming work. Don't quit your job in search of happiness before figuring out the root cause.

  4. Check your attitude. Are you finding fault with everything and everybody at work? A perspective shift is in order. Gratitude is the antidote. List as many things as you can that you do like about work. Each day, reflect back on 3 (new!) things you're grateful for about your job.

  5. Are you "showing up" at work with your A-game or have you gotten sloppy? If your boss had to decide whether or not to rehire you based on your performance over the last 30 days, would you make the cut?

Sit down and honestly assess why you're not happy and whether or not you can find happiness at work. Can you incorporate your strengths into your current job? If teaching is one of your top strengths and it's not part of your job description, it's worth investigating if you can work this into your job duties. If you're a financial whiz but you're editing words all day, this explains why you're stuck and unfulfilled. The childhood passion exercise may help you find activities or passions outside your work to help you find fulfillment. Sometimes a job is just a job, but you can still live an amazingly rewarding life by doing the things you love on your days off.

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