Should I stay in my job or move on?
Well, according to most employee satisfaction surveys, you’re probably not alone. It’s estimated that around a third of us dread the working week – yet our jobs play a very important part of our lives. Finding ways to enjoy the place you spend at least a third of your life is crucial.
With that in mind we’ve come up with 10 questions to ask yourself before you decide to move on.
Question #1 – Do you take pride in your work?
Even if you don’t particularly like your job, your colleagues or your whole company, it’s always worth doing a good job. If you try and do your job well you’ll gain lasting satisfaction and a good reference if you do end up leaving. If you do a poor job or put in minimal effort you’ll not only hate every minute you spend at your desk you’re unlikely to get a good recommendation. Try and remember that you’re there to pay the bills if anything else and that you have a responsibility to yourself. Take pride in your work and you’ll keep sane at least!
Question #2 – Do you take your work home with you?
As soon as you leave the office that’s your day done. However, far too many people take their work home with them – whether that’s files, reports, or even the problems of the day. Try and break this habit. Don’t check work emails, turn your mobile off if you have to and don’t discuss your work problems with your partner. This can be incredibly difficult, but it’s worth it in the long run. If you find you can’t manage this it may be time to move on.
Question #3 – Does your work have special projects?
If you don’t have something to break the monotony of the working day, you could be getting itchy feet. Some employers have special projects related to new products or services, and volunteering your time and effort on these tasks will not only add a bit of variety to the working day it could lead to a new career opening up within the business.
Question #4 – Does your work have regular team-building events?
A team that plays together sticks together. If you get on with your colleagues it will go a long way towards making your workplace a pleasant place to be. Team-building events don’t have to be expensive, well-planned affairs, it could be as simple as organising a book-sharing club, a walking club or an end of the month work night out.
Question #5 – Is your workspace a mess?
Who can work productively in a messy and cluttered environment? If your personal things are neat and organised you’ll be less frustrated and far more productive. Also, consider how it could look to outsiders coming into your work. Sort your desk and your files and folders out and you’re bound to feel a bit more positive about your job and want to stay.
Question #6 – Avoid the office gossip
We all love a natter with our colleagues, but gossiping at work is a big mistake and can lead to you wanting to leave the company. If you engage in gossiping you can be sure you’ll be gossipped about too. If you want to stay at your work, rather than get involved, say something positive about that person instead – if you show kindness people will be inclined to return the favour.
Question # 7 – Can you escape the office?
Unfortunately it’s a sad fact that too many employees stay in the office from the moment they arrive in the morning to the moment they leave. Yet they are doing themselves no favours because they remain in a high-pressured environment. A change of scenery always puts the workplace into perspective.
Try and stop claustrophobia from setting in by taking regular breaks, stretching your legs and going out at lunchtime for some fresh air. If you can spend time in a cafe with your head in a good book you’ll recharge your batteries and head back to work fresher than when you left.
Question #8 – Do you take things too personally?
If your job is customer-facing you may have to deal with unhappy people all day. It can be hard to switch off if you’re in this type of role and it can be easy to take criticism personally, especially if you’re sat down all day. It’s important to remember that it’s not your fault that they are complaining, you are just there to rectify their problems.
Try and stay calm and positive and make it your mission to turn their anger into compliments. You never know, they may make an extra-special effort to contact your manager to say what great service they received. If you can’t do this, it may be worth looking elsewhere.
Question # 9 – What about difficult colleagues?
We’ve all come across difficult colleagues. If you find it hard to get on with your workmates there are a few things you can do. First off, remember that you can’t change other people. There may be a way you can change their behaviour without having to resort to confrontation – you could move desks for example.
Focus on what you can control and look at the reality of the situation. If you’re being bullied or suffering harassment you can escalate the problem to your line manager. If your colleagues just won’t stop talking only you can change the situation. If you feel you can’t, you may need to spread your wings.
Question #10 – If you want to leave, be productive
If you don’t nip out at lunchtime and prefer to surf the internet instead, why not do something productive rather than trawl for the latest celebrity gossip? You could start your own blog and write about something you’re passionate about. If you really don’t enjoy your job you could use this time to polish up your CV or hunt local job sites for your next role.
Keywords: employee satisfaction, job satisfaction