Should I stay or should I go? Knowing when to leave a role

29 September 2023
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Before beginning the process of handling resignations, updating resumes and making yourself presentable to your market, there is one critical thing to ask yourself. Do I really want to go?

This may seem simple to the extreme, but as recruitment specialists we see people make snap decisions about leaving roles that ultimately hurts them in the long run. Telling your employer you’re leaving in the heat of a moment and then realising you actually want to stay can make your working life a little awkward, to say the least. We’d prefer you didn’t have to try and unscramble that egg, which is why we’ve got this short checklist of things to make sure you’re really ready to leave your role.

Blue skies turned rainy

Firstly, maybe you’ve just had a bad day? No, seriously. If you’re in a frame of mind to leave, are you just frustrated at a situation that can be resolved or is temporary, or are you genuinely disconnected from the role and the organisation? The decision to leave has to be deliberate, conscious and considered, and not just because Steve from Accounts used your coffee mug again.

Often, electing to leave can be a bandaid for having a tough conversation with your employers. If they made you a counteroffer and you were happy to stay, a desire to leave is likely an unrepresentative knee jerk reaction to a situation and not the role itself. This will create tougher conversations down the line.

Know thyself

If, after considered deliberation, you feel your current role is not a right fit for you, then there are a few questions to ask yourself.

  1. What sort of role would you be happy in?
  2. Could your current employer restructure your role in your organisation to meet the above?
  3. What is it you’re actually looking for from an employer, in terms of culture, growth and technology?
  4. What values do you relate to in a business, and who has those values that you relate to? How do you ascertain that?

The first few questions have answers that only you will know, and come from some introspection. We’re good at what we do, but knowing the full depths of your mind and character is slightly outside our skillset.

As specialist recruiters, what we can do is be a sounding board to help get some insight on the above. Researching on the internet is an obvious and easy and obvious way to have a look at organisations, and we can give you our opinions as well. It’s important to remember that both online and with us, organisations will always put their best foot forward. Some of the best ways to get an honest appreciation of the character of an organisation is to talk to people who work there, if you know them.

If you are comfortable that you know why you want to leave a role, and what type of role you’d be eager to replace it with, then you can start the process of getting yourself market ready. We’ve got a guide on exactly how to do this, which you can find here. If you need any help working out whether you should stay or you should go, we’d love to hear from you and help how we can.