13 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Quit Your Job
YOU South Africa|30 September 2021
Unhappy in your current position and thinking about packing it in for something new? Experts offer advice on whether to take the leap
Elle Hunt

You might have been thinking about it for a while, especially if you dread returning to an office. This past year has made many people consider whether they want to stay in their jobs – the turnover tsunami, as some are calling it.

But job statistics make for grim reading – more than 34% of South Africans are unemployed, according to official stats. So perhaps you need to think carefully. Are you in desperate need of change or just in a pandemic funk? Ask yourself these questions before you resign.

HOW LONG HAVE I BEEN FEELING THIS WAY?

It might help to think about when you were last consistently happy at work. If it’s been years predating the pandemic, British psychologist Lee suggests it might be time to act.

If your dissatisfaction is more recent, “a lot of that’s pandemic-related”, he adds.

It’s easy to underestimate the impact of the stress of the past 18 months. “Most of us haven’t been through something as serious or significant as this,” he says. It could be that your desire to quit is rooted in wanting to exercise some control over your life.

SHOULD I EVEN CONSIDER STAYING?

If it feels like a question of self-preservation, “something that’s effectively pivotal to you feeling like a human being, it’s almost as if that decision needs to be made for you”, British psychologist Lee Chambers says. “Otherwise it will have an increasingly negative impact on your health.”

But you have to be brutally honest with yourself. “What are your frustrations? What’s that primary sticking point, the one thing that’s really tipped the balance so this question has become prominent in your mind?”

Drill down not only into your role and responsibilities but particular projects, pay, the potential for progression, workplace culture, workload, colleagues, company values and any recent restructuring.

“The ‘why’ question is where everyone starts, but the first answer you give yourself is rarely what’s really going on,” says Eleanor Tweddell, founder of UK post-redundancy coaching consultancy Another Door.

She suggests writing down every thought and feeling you’ve had about your job for 10 days.

WHAT DO I ACTUALLY WANT TO DO?

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