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VOL. 129 | NO. 149 | Friday, August 1, 2014

Angela Copeland

To Stay or to Go

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Job seeking can be a long, difficult process. If you’re currently looking for a job, there’s a good chance it’s because something at your current job isn’t right. Whether it’s your boss, the pay, or the job itself, you just aren’t happy. And, you probably haven’t been happy for a while. Most people have to reach a certain breaking point before they are willing to volunteer to experience the discomfort of job searching.

One question I get from job seekers is whether or not to wait until they have a new job to resign from their current position – or whether to quit today. On one hand, traditional wisdom says that it’s easier to find a job when you have a job. On the other, if you leave now, you will have eight hours more each day to search. This feeling is especially relevant for those who want to move to a new city. In theory, it’s easier to visit another city when you’re not working.

This week, I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Sam Sanders from the University of Phoenix for my podcast. He recently completed a survey on employment. He found that near half of working adults in the United States have equal or greater feelings of self-worth from their careers as they do from their personal lives. He also found that more than 60 percent of working adults would quit their job if their feelings of self-worth decreased, with the youngest and oldest workers being most likely to quit.

“Professionals no longer feel locked into a specific career path,” said Dr. Sanders. “Workers are staying in the workforce longer and the lines between personal lives and work have blurred, so it is not surprising that workers are focused on finding jobs and careers that align with their values and contribute to their feelings of self-worth.”

If you are struggling to decide whether to stay or to go, take your time to weigh your options. If you are able to stick around until you land another job, you won’t have to explain why you quit, or gaps in your resume. You’ll also maintain a level of financial stability that may be necessary if you have family members who rely on your income.

If you’re leaning toward quitting without a new job in hand, start by evaluating your finances. Do you have enough in your savings to last a year or more, if that’s what it takes? Job seekers often underestimate how difficult finding a new job can be, especially if they have very specific requirements, such as location, job function, and salary. Narrowing your requirements is positive, but the more you have, the longer a job search typically takes.

The path you select is a very personal decision. Only you can truly understand just how unhappy you are at work. You’re the one who knows just how different your personal values are from your company’s values. Whichever way you go, take your time and make a thoughtful, informed decision.

Angela Copeland is CEO/founder of Copeland Coaching, CopelandCoaching.com, and author of “Breaking The Rules & Getting The Job.” She also hosts the Copeland Coaching Podcast on iTunes. You can follow Copeland Coaching on Twitter (@CopelandCoach) and Facebook (facebook.com/CopelandCoaching).

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