How to Know When It’s Time to Leave

by Richard Highsmith

Sometimes change makes such a difference in the environment at work an employee is not comfortable remaining in the position. When this happens the employee must step up personally or help a teammate recognize the situation for what it is. Unless performance is suffering dramatically, the employee can make the decision to leave or remain in a place where he/she is unhappy.

There are three general areas where change can affect an employee. In these instances it would be better for the employee to make the decision to leave rather than being terminated. Because the reality of the work world is if you aren’t contributing to the team, you will ultimately be let go. Let’s look at each of these situations in more detail.

1. Health – Changes in procedures or job requirements can make physical demands that were previously non-existent. If a change creates health issues you must consider the long-term consequences. I am not referring to on-the-job injuries, where workers’ compensation would be available. I am exploring changes to the normal physical requirements of an existing position. A transfer may be possible and should be attempted. If the option to make a lateral move doesn’t exist, you must contemplate finding work more suitable to your physical conditioning.

2. Skills – In this highly competitive work environment more productivity is asked of many employees. Often jobs are combined after a lay off. You may find yourself in a situation where you new job duties require skills you do not possess. In all likelihood you will be allowed the opportunity to learn. After all management kept you and let your teammate go. But what if you don’t want to learn these new skills or struggle with acquiring them? Or consider whether you want to assume the additional responsibility and longer work hours the combined position will place on you. You may consider the option of looking for new work more suited to your existing skill set.

3. Attitude – This is harder to personally recognize. If you are unhappy and life at home is a constant, but work has changed dramatically, you might examine the connection. Often we hear about problems with our attitude from teammates or management. One comment may not be significant, but two is a red flag. Once you have received feedback, you must look at potential causes. Introspection is not easy and making excuses is, but avoid that trap. I am saying if two separate individuals confide you have an attitude problem… it exists. You can deal with it or wait until management does. When a change at work has resulted in your unhappiness, contemplate removing yourself from the situation.

One of the differences between being mature and immature is taking responsibility for your behavior. In the work world this means being aware of how change affects you and the impact this has on your team. Everyone cannot adjust to every change. Sometimes you need to be the adult and move on. What do you think? Drop me an email.

About the author

Richard Highsmith, [email protected], is President of Quality Team Building. He has twenty-five years experience training and coaching. He has built and sold two successful businesses. To learn more about becoming a team leader visit our website at [] or call Rick toll-free at 1-888-484-8326 X101