Should you stay or should you go?

(LIZ RAMOS)

 

Your boss is a monster, your colleagues are backstabbing and your pay cheque is missing a zero or two. What do you do? Stick it out and hope things will improve or leave for pastures new? There are few people who at one time or another don't want to just quit their jobs. Sometimes that need to escape is the result of a sudden problem and other times it is a feeling a long time coming. But quitting isn't a decision to be made haphazardly. It generally has a big impact on life as you know it, including your colleagues, your bank balance and sometimes even your career. Here's how to make the right decision to stay or go.

There are things you like and things you hate

"Make a list of the advantages and disadvantages of the job. Pick a time when there is distance between you and work. This will allow you to see things more clearly," says HR expert Dawn Rosenberg McKay.

"Be specific. If you say you don't get along with your boss, list the things about him or her that bother you.

"But remember every job also has an up side so list those, too. It might be something as simple as the distance your home is to the office, the working hours or something more serious like the health insurance it offers."

It will now be clear to see the ups and downs of the job and easier for you to make a decision either way.

You've been leapfrogged for promotion

You've been putting in the hours, schmoozing the right people and generally working really hard so imagine your fury when someone less-experienced gets promoted. HR manager Bruce David acknowledges that at some point in your career you will undoubtedly be overlooked for a promotion.

"You may be good, but there is always someone better," he states. Take a look at the situation objectively and you may be able to understand why the bigwigs decided to promote your competitor.

Life coach Rita Daoud suggests ask ing the boss straight out why you didn't get the promotion. If your boss is unwilling to discuss this, then it's within your rights to go to HR for a satisfactory explanation. But don't make a fuss , look for answers that will help.

"If you throw your toys out the pram, you'll remain where you are," says Bruce. "But if you are mature and supportive, the next opportunity for promotion will be yours."

you've been refused a pay rise because of a 'freeze'

The first thing to ascertain is whether the freeze affects only you or the whole company. If the entire firm is in the same boat then at least you won't feel victimised or undervalued. Unfortunately, if you stay with the company, there isn't a great deal that can be done, warns Bruce.

But regardless of the company's situation, the market place for your particular skill will not be frozen. Do some research to find out if you could be earning more money elsewhere. "You might be surprised to learn that other people value your skill and experience more than your existing employer," says Bruce.

Of course, a job isn't just about the money, but it's an important part and can go a long way in motivating you. Before you jump ship, weigh up whether you'd rather have less money but work in a familiar environment or achieve a higher salary.

You receive a better offer elsewhere

If you get an offer you are finding difficult to refuse, and everything else about the prospective position seems to be a good fit for you, you should give it serious consideration. But first ask yourself what is the most important thing? Is it salary, health benefits, or vacation time? Or could it be the corporate culture or the length or your commute? What about your boss and co-workers – will working with new people be pleasant?

Sometimes the fear of the unexpected can hold people back from leaving a company they have been with for a while, but HR expert Dawn Rosenberg McKay says: "Making new friends at work, learning about a different company and going through the first day at work are all tough, but if it's a good career move it is worth it," she says.

 

Leave on good terms

Leaving a job is often upsetting, whether you are fired or decided to quit. You may have trouble remembering to do the right thing, but here are five things you should avoid doing at all costs. 

- Do not tell your boss what you think of them even if it's true

- Do not damage company property or steal something

- Do not forget to ask for a reference

- Do not badmouth your employer or any co-workers

- Do previous not make comments about your employer to your prospective employer

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